The Criminal Code was amended in December 2005 to include a new provision regarding domestic violence.According to the Criminal Code, domestic violence is defined as “maltreatment”, through threats, duress, deprivation of liberty and violence by one’s current or former spouse, kin, spouse’s kin or any other person in the shared household. Psychological and economic violence are not specifically mentioned in the law. Penalties include up to four years in prison, although aggravated circumstances, such as the crime leading to death, or significant harm to the victim’s health can result in a higher penalty. Under section 23 of the Marriage Act, a spouse has the right to file for divorce if the other spouse has deliberately attempted to kill him or her or their children or wilfully exposed them to severe abuse. In this case, divorce can be filed by judicial decree without previous separation or breakup of the relationship and mediation is not mandatory.
From 2004 to 2007, the Norwegian government put in place action plans to combat domestic violence. This included strengthening treatment programmes for perpetrators and improving services for children who witness violence
The Alternative to violence (ATV) services were put in place to provide treatment to violent offenders in close relationships. The ATV work closely with other centres, such as the regional resource centres on violence, traumatic stress and suicide prevention (RVTS), the child welfare services and the specialist health services.
Since January 2010, maintaining shelter services was made compulsory for the local authorities.
There was also a new National strategy against domestic violence (2012-2013). The strategy includes improved protection of children from violence and abuse, improved prevention mechanisms, and better cooperation with NGOs.
The use of physical force and violence in intimate relationships is still present in Norway. According to the 2005 National Survey, more than 25% of women and more than 20% of men have experienced that their partners have used physical force against them since they were 15 years old.
During 2009, 77% of the victims of domestic violence were women.
Of the 2,118 offenses deemed Crime concerning intimate relationships 2010, 360 were brought to court. Of these, 200 were dropped or not completed.
Following the 2008-2011 Governmental action plan, the Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies was responsible for conducting a prevalence study of violence in Norway. The results, published in a 2014 report, reveal that the prevalence of lifetime rape was 9.4% in women and 1.1% in men and 33.6% of women and 11.3% of men reported some form of sexual abuse or assault in their lifetime.
The Criminal Code of Norway addresses the question of sexual violence, including rape
A person that has engaged in sexual activity through the use of violence or threats, or with a person that is unconscious, shall be punished by up to 10 years of imprisonment. If the crime is aggravated, involves a minor (less than 14 years old), involves more than two aggressors, or conducted in a particularly painful way, or leads to death or significant injury, the perpetrator can face up to 21 years of prison. Although the definition of rape does not specifically include marital/spousal rape, it has been punished since the 1970s. The first conviction for rape in marriage in Norway took place in 1974 in the Norwegian Supreme Court.
Rape victims are able to receive advice, support and counselling at the 50 crisis centres located in each county or at the two DIXI resource centres for rape victims. 
While the law establishes that each county must have at least one centre, Amnesty International (2008) reports that some counties lack a centre because of closure linked to financial issues.
Victims are legally entitled to state-funded, court-appointed legal counsel, as established under Chapter 9 of the Criminal Procedure Act.
Amnesty International reports (2008) that police are not properly trained to deal with rape cases, despite the progress since 2005.
According to the national report to the Convention for the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), conviction rates are low.
Amnesty international also reports that rapists are seldom convicted, that 84% of all rape cases reported to the police never reach the courts and that about 36% of all rape trials end with acquittal in 2008.
According to 2010 data, 85% of the victims of sexual crimes were women.
There is still a widespread myth that a woman is partly responsible for putting herself in the situation of being exposed to rape if she behaves “immorally”. The 2007 survey on men’s attitudes to violence against women conducted by Amnesty International revealed that, while most men declare that they condemn violence against women, half the men considered that a women is partly or wholly responsible of being raped if she was openly flirting, and one third of the men considered that she is partly or wholly responsible is she was intoxicated or dressed inappropriately.
In 2011, 34.5% of rape cases of young women happened during a night out by a person that the victim knew; rapes where the perpetrator was a stranger and the rape occurred in a public place made up 19.1% of the total number of rapes reported in 2011.
Section 8a of the Gender Equality Act No. 45 defines “gender-based” sexual harassment
as “unwanted sexual attention that is troublesome to the person receiving the attention”.
In 2005 the Gender Equality Act was amended to include sexual harassment within and outside of the workplace. This Act is not enforced by the Equality and Anti-Discrimination Ombudsmen and individuals would have to take their complaint to court.
The 2005 amendment required employers and managers of organisations and educational institutions to avert and seek to prevent the occurrence of sexual harassment.
The same duty appears in Section 2-3 of the Norwegian 2012 Working Environment Act. Employers who violate this law are subject to fines or prison sentences of up to two years, depending on the seriousness of the offense.
Sexual harassment is the only form of harassment that the Ombudsman and Ombudsman’s office are not authorised to handle or to take a decision on individual complaints. Therefore a person who has been victim of sexual harassment must seek help through the court system.
The Ombudsman can verify whether employers follow their obligations to prevent sexual harassment.
According to surveys, sexual harassment in the workplace affects in particular young working women and in particular service personnel in hotels and restaurants, as well as nursing/care workers.
In addition to Norway’s international efforts to combat female genital mutilation (FGM)
, from 2002 to 2005, a national plan was put in place at the national level to protect women in refugee communities.
In 2004, the law banning FGM
was modified to add a provision that holds professional groups and employees of certain enterprises accountable for the prevention of FGM. This provision applies to workers and employees in day care centres, child welfare services, health and social services, schools, day care facilities for schoolchildren, religious communities and for the heads and leaders of religious communities. FGM is also punishable when practiced overseas if it is carried out by a Norwegian national or a person resident in Norway.
In a 2008 survey, 15 cases of FGM were reported in 2006 and 10 cases in 2007.
Since 1978, abortion
has been legal during the first 12 weeks of gestation. After this time limit, approval by two physicians is required. For women younger than 16, parental consent is required. To be able to undergo abortion after week 12, certain social or health criteria need to be fulfilled.
http://www.gender.no/Topics/15/sub_topics?path=5/964 Penal Code, ch. 2-13 (Lovdata, 20de Kapitel. Forbrydelser med Hensyn til Familieforhold)  Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion  CEDAW (2006), p.29  Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion, “Violence in close relationships”  Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion  http://www.regjeringen.no/nb/dokumentarkiv/stoltenberg-ii/jd-2/nyheter-og-pressemeldinger/pressemeldinger/2013/nasjonal-strategi-mot-vold-i-nare- relasj.html?id=716897 http://www.gender.no/Topics/15 http://www.gender.no/Topics/15  WAVE (2012)  Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies (2014), Vold og voldtekt i Norge En nasjonal forekomststudie av vold i et livsløpsperspektiv  Section 192  Alsaker, K. Et al, (2011)  CEDAW (2006) pp.31-32  Amnesty International (2008), p.138  Amnesty International (2008), p.128 and 134  CEDAW (2006) p.39  Amnesty International (2008), p.118 www.gender.no/Topics/15  Amnesty International (2008), p. 124-125  Norwegian Ministry of Children, Equality and Social Inclusion (2012), p. 47  The Act relating to gender equality  Structure for Equality, Official Norwegian Report NOU (2011), p.18  CEDAW/C/NOR/7 (2006), p.8  Gender Balance n Research – Norway (2012)  Gender Balance n Research – Norway (2012)  Policy for Equality, Official Norwegian Report (NOU) (2012), p.15  CEDAW (2006), p. 18 and 20  Act of 15 December 1995 No. 4  CEDAW (2006), p.93  Lindén, H. and Bentzen, T. (2008)  The Act dated 13 June 1975 no. 50 concerning Termination of Pregnancy, with Amendments in the Act dated 16 June 1978 no. 5, http://www.ub.uio.no/ujur/ulovdata/lov-19750613-050-eng.pdf