Barnahus, care service for child victims of sexual abuse

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Barnahus, care service for child victims of sexual abuse

Catalan Government, Save The Children

Imatges Posts Web 6 min 1

A pioneering integrated unit in Catalonia and Spain, made up of a specialised multidisciplinary team, whose objective is to avoid the re-victimisation of children and adolescents who are victims of sexual abuse and to provide all the necessary care in a single space.

Barnahus (children’s house in icelandic) is a project to help children and young people –from 0 to 18 years of age– who have suffered sexual abuse and to prevent aggression against minors. It puts the victim of sexual abuse at the centre, working in a single space with all the care services they need and minimising the traumatic experience of reliving the aggression. This avoids victims having to go through courts, police stations, hospitals and children’s services. It is promoted by Save the Children and is supported by five Catalan government departments, mainly the Social Rights department, but in coordination with the Health, Education, Justice and Interior departments.

Barnahus has a welcoming and friendly appearance to provide security, comfort and confidence to children and their families. There are separate rooms to preserve privacy, a kitchen-dining room, offices and a medical examination room. The psychosocial team –consisting of psychologists and social workers with a coordinator– works full time, 24 hours a day, every day of the year, and also offers translation services.

Catalonia already has centers in Tarragona, Manresa, and Lleida. In 2024, Intress, a partner entity of the iSocial Foundation, has promoted the opening of a Barnahus facility in Terrassa and in La Seu d’Urgell. On February 27th, the Idea Foundation, also a member of iSocial, will inaugurate a center in Granollers.

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