Information in English

Faen Heller! (translates: Damn it!) is a project initiated by May Lise Hoel in Norway, which objective is to break the taboo of incest and sexual abuse of children and to educate the public about consequences of such abuse.

A truth that nobody wants...

Not long after the launch of the Faen Heller!-website in January 2003 we took the project a step further and organized together with the users of Senter mot incest (Center against incest) in Trondheim, the educational seminar “October 8th – A day about incest”. Together with the seminar we also hosted a charity concert, presenting some of Norway’s most prominent artists. -An important first milestone in the work towards breaking the taboo of incest and sexual abuse.

From being one person’s battle Faen Heller! has grown to becoming a network of volunteers who promotes our message and opinion in homes, classrooms, hospitals and so forth. As Faen Heller is entirely based on voluntary work we are ever so grateful for every individual who support us and our cause.  The sale of our famous t-shirts together with goodwill from local and national celebrities is now our main basis of income.

Our main channel of communication is today as always, our website but we are also exploring other ways for us to communicate. An increasingly important part of our work is to educate professionals: We travel across the country visiting health clinics for youths, teacher colleges, and others who are or will be the first line of contact for exposed children and youths. By educating and raising awareness for those professionals we believe that more children can be helped at an early stage. Unfortunately today many exposed children are not identified.

It’s hard to know what to do. And it’s easy to miscalculate. We do not believe that a seminar can change all this. But by dispensing knowledge about sexual abuse we believe that we, as fellow human beings, can better avail ourselves and support each other. It will be easier for children and adolescents to initiate contact with teachers, health authorities, doctors, and people outside the family. Because the shame in families are so great, it’s important that others outside the family know how they can assist. Today as many as every fifth child may be exposed to sexual abuse in one form or another1, a number that is not likely to decrease unless the taboo is broken!

Beyond our main information work we are now making it an annual tradition to host a benefit concert to raise awareness with a broader audience. Already we are seeing change: Increasingly more people are talking about the subject of incest, more people are supporting Faen Heller! and other organizations like us, making the barrier for those exposed a little less intimidating. Incest shouldn’t be silenced to death; it should be talked to death!

More information

Faen Heller! is a Norwegian project but we will do what we can to answer any enquiries in English. For more information about Faen Heller! and our work, please contact us by sending an e-mail to .

1) Norwegian Centre for Violence and Traumatic Stress Studies

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