This case study presents the research design of an investigation on forms of ‘submerged’ violence that can arise within the framework of care institutions for minors. The aim of this study is to increase the knowledge of the qualitative research approaches and their potential to shed light on very complex phenomena – such as ‘submerged’ violence – as well as to identify original and unusual paths of analysis. Through qualitative approaches, the topic has been intensively (identifying its main features) rather than extensively (namely, how much it is widespread) investigated. In relation to this research work, the main aim was to identify which forms of violence can occur within the framework of residential institutions, rather than to show how violence is distributed. Furthermore, a combination of different qualitative approaches has been used in order to deal with the multidimensional nature of the phenomena and to detect more features or aspects. Indeed, each approach satisfies specific cognitive aims, allowing the same phenomenon to be analysed from different perspectives.