Norwegian version
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Public Defense: Tone Hee Åker

Tone Hee Åker will defend her thesis Victims with disabilities in the Norwegian criminal justice system. Addressing and understanding the judicial process in cases involving physical and sexual abuse for the PhD in Health Sciences.

Zoom link

Zoom link trial lecture and public defense ( Passcode: 065426

Trial Lecture

The trial lecture starts at 10:00 in Zoom.
We ask the audience to enter Zoom 15 minutes prior to commencement of the trial lecture.

Title: Estimating the numbers of victims with intellectual disabilities who have been physically or sexually abused - Methodological developments and pitfalls.

Public defense

The candidate will defend her thesis at 12:15 in Zoom.

Ordinary opponents

Leader of the public defense

Professor Magne Flaten, Department of Behavioural Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, OsloMet

Supervisors from Oslo Metropolitan University

Digital defense information

The OsloMet campus is closed as a consequence of the corona virus pandemic

Due to restrictions and limitations on physical participation, the public defense will be conducted on the zoom digital platform.

Attend the public defense live in Zoom

The link to the digital defense in Zoom is on the top of this page. OsloMet students and employees use OsloMet accounts. Others can download Zoom or use a browser.

How to oppose ex auditorio

Please send your question to the host during the break, before the second opponent begins. Raise your digital hand by clicking on "Participants" at the bottom of the zoom window and choose "Raise Hand" if you would like to voice the question yourself after both opponents have finished their questions. The technical administrator will ask to activate your microphone. Click Yes.

Attend the trial lecture live in Zoom

The link to the trial lecture in Zoom is the same as the public defense. We ask the audience to enter 15 minutes early by clicking the yellow button at the top of this page. You can leave the Webinar and come back or stay in Zoom during the break (30-45 minutes).

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Who can answer questions prior to trial lecture and public defense?

Publication of the approved PhD thesis

Request a copy of the PhD thesis by e-mail. Include the name of the PhD candidate.


Crime against people with disabilities is under-researched. More knowledge is therefore needed to develop guidelines and procedures to secure the rule of law for this vulnerable group. This thesis illuminates how people with disabilities who are alleged victims of physical and sexual abuse, proceed through the criminal justice system in Norway. The main issues discussed include the characteristics of the criminal cases and of the investigative interviews conducted with alleged victims with a disability, and their need for health services after the investigative interview.

Three studies were conducted. The research papers that report these are included as separate chapters in the thesis. The first study is based on register data from the criminal justice system. This is one of few studies in the world that has been given access to such data to analyze and describe case characteristics. The results show that sexual offenses against young females are the most common crime investigated by the police in Norway for victims with a disability, and that the number of cases investigated that involve children under the age of 16 and involve violence were few. The second study analyzed question types and how best-practice recommendations for interviewing vulnerable witnesses were mirrored in practice. The analysis revealed a considerable variation.

The main conclusion shows that interviewers need to increase the use of the recommended open-ended questions and cease using suggestive questions. Our final study aimed to address the meeting of victim health care needs at the interface between the criminal justice system and the health care sector. The small data set analyzed raises questions around the lack of guidelines and practices for securing the required health care services by the criminal justice and health care collaboration. The study shed light on a phenomenon which needs much more research.

This thesis is one of the very few that addresses critical issues in how the criminal justice system in Norway meets people with disabilities as alleged victims of physical and sexual abuse. The topics discussed add new and essential information to this field. This enables us to move our knowledge forwards and to secure the rule of law and the human rights of victims with disabilities.