A national centre for knowledge concerning violence against children

Barnafrid is a national centre charged with gathering and disseminating knowledge about violence and other abuse in relation to children. This is a government assignment that was awarded to Linköping University in 2015 and the centre is placed under the Department of Biomedical and Clinical Sciences (BKV) in the Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, University Hospital Campus (US), in Linköping.

Barnafrid aims not only at professionals who, as part of their work, meet children and young people who have been subjected to violence, but also at professionals in other fields such as various government agencies. The purposes of the centre are to contribute to improved prevention work and to develop effective measures to protect and support children who are subjected to violence and other forms of abuse. It aims to fulfil these purposes by gathering and disseminating knowledge. Barnafrid is intended to be a link between research and practice and is responsible for several national vocational networks through which professionals are invited to lectures and seminars with the opportunity of exchanging experiences. The centre is also charged with the annual tasks of identifying areas in which more knowledge is needed, tailoring compiled information for relevant professional groups, and identifying and reporting on areas for development to the government.

Barnafrid is led by the Head of Department, Laura Korhonen, and employs around 25 co-workers. Its operations are reported annually to the Ministry of Health and Social Affairs. In addition to its fundamental commission, Barnafrid receives other government assignments relating to children who are subject to violence and other abuse.

Examples of current and previous government assignments

A question about honour

The government assignment "A question about honour" is to implement training in relation to honour-related violence and repression for the country’s children’s homes. The purpose of the task is to strengthen children’s homes’ investigative expertise in cases in which honour-related crime is suspected. Within the assignment, Barnafrid has published a handbook about honor-related violence and repression and has arranged serveral conferences with the purpose to educate.

Trauma on the map

In April 2018, the government commissioned Barnafrid, the national knowledge centre on violence against children at Linköping University, to develop and implement a programme for competence development in psychiatric trauma care for staff in first-line care for children and young people with mental illness and in specialised psychiatry for children and young people. The assignment was called Trauma on the Map.

Digital knowledge support on children and trauma

In April 2020, the government gave Barnafrid an additional assignment to the Trauma on the map with the task of digitising and making available applicable parts of the competence development programme that has been developed. The digital support is primarily target staff in child and adolescent psychiatry.

Example of projects


Man and a women standing by a wall
David Brohede

Barnafrid offers different types of education such as single lectures, network meetings as well as university courses. 

Barnafrid offers eduction about: 

  • Child abuse and sexual assault
  • Children and youth psychiatry
  • To educate about violence against children in university education
  • Trauma focused cognitive behavior therapy
  • Children and trauma

The courses are held in Swedish.


Girl standing by a fence in front of railroad tracks. She carries a backpack that has a yellow balloon tied with blue and yellow ribbons.

Together for children and young people in Ukraine

In a new assignment initiated by the Swedish government, Barnafrid will contribute with practical solutions for children who need support to deal with the consequences of violence.

Book cover Participatory Research on Child Maltreatment with Children and Adult Survivors

Barnafrid contributes to book on participatory research

Barnafrid is behind two chapters in the recently published book Participatory Research on Child Maltreatment with Children and Adult Survivor.

Child holding yellow ballon with a smile

Barnafrid hosts international congress about child abuse and neglect

The European Regional Congress on Child Abuse and Neglect 2024 is now organized for the first time in Sweden. Barnafrid is hosting the congress and 600 international experts are expected to participate.

Children and young people with sexual behaviour problems

Sexual abuse of children causes great distress to the victim, increases the risk of developing mental health and psychosocial problems, and affects the immediate environment, family and friends.

A childhood free from violence

On January 18, the investigation "A childhood free from violence" submitted its report to the government. The investigation has been tasked with developing a national strategy to prevent and combat violence against children.

Erica Mattelin and Kristina Taylor

LiU PhD student awarded Swedish Psychological Association’s big prize

Erica Mattelin, a PhD student at Barnafrid, Linköping University (LiU), has been awarded the Swedish Psychological Association’s big prize for 2021.