Victim's rights

In Finland, victims of violent crimes have certain rights. These include the right to be treated with respect and dignity, to receive information about the handling of the case and the services available to victims, the protection of their safety and privacy, and the right to receive compensation for damages caused by the crime.

In Finland, there are special rights and support services for victims of domestic violence. Victims of domestic violence have the right to receive help, support, and protection from the recurrence of violence.

Learn more from If you become a victim of a crime

The right to protection and security

The victim has the right to receive protection and help to ensure his safety. This includes, for example, a restraining order if necessary. In addition, when assessing the need for protection, the police can make suggestions to the court on how the victim's vulnerability can be taken into account in the arrangements for the trial.

You can file a criminal report in a language you understand, and it will not incur interpretation costs. You can also request translations of the most important documents (e.g. written confirmation of the criminal report).

The police can issue a temporary restraining order to the person threatening you, which prohibits the other person from contacting you or approaching you. The ban will be investigated in more detail in the district court in the near future. You can also apply for a restraining order yourself directly from the district court. The restraining order aims to ensure your safety.

The right to information

The victim has the right to receive information about his rights, the criminal procedure and the progress of his case. They should receive information in a clear and understandable way.

Confidentiality, dignity and privacy

Victims have the right to have their privacy and dignity respected. The victim has the right to the protection of his personal data and identity. Their personal information should be treated confidentially and steps should be taken to minimize unnecessary intrusion into privacy and prevent further harm or retaliation.

The right to support and help

Victims of intimate partner violence have the right to receive help and support from various organizations and authorities, such as social services, health, victim support services, legal aid and shelters. These services are offered to help victims cope with the effects of intimate partner violence and rebuild their lives.

In Finland, there is a national helpline for victims of domestic violence, Nollalinja, which offers information, advice and support around the clock. The Nollalinja helpline is available in several languages and is free of charge. The victim's privacy and confidentiality are always respected. For inquiries related to the criminal process, support person issues and the victim's legal protection, you can contact Victim Support Finland (RIKU).

Legal proceedings

The victim has the right to participate in the proceedings and express his views and concerns. In addition, victims of serious violent crimes or sexual crimes can be offered legal counsel at the state's expense, regardless of their financial status.

Victims of intimate partner violence generally have the right in crimes against life and health, with the exception of mild assault. Defamation is not a crime against life and health, so it does not fall under the scope of assistance paid from state funds. For example, a short dating relationship may not meet these criteria either. The assistant checks whether the client has the right to assistance from state funds or whether he can receive legal aid for his income and wealth.

The victim has the right to receive support and assistance throughout the legal process. The victim has the right to receive information about the progress of the trial and his role in the process. They can participate in the trial, express their views and demand compensation for the damages caused by the violence. In addition, the victim can bring a support person to the trial. You can ask for free support staff trained for the task at the RIKU.

The right to be heard

The victim has the right to express his views, concerns and needs during the trial. If necessary, the victim can get an assistant (attorney/lawyer) and a support person in the criminal process. Contact the legal aid office, RIKU, or a private legal assistant for more information.

The right to compensation

The victim has the right to demand compensation for damages and losses caused by the crime.

For more information:
RIKU, compensations in criminal damages

Training for professionals

Professionals working in law enforcement, social services, health care, and other related fields should receive special training to understand better and effectively deal with cases of intimate partner violence.

The Victim's Rights Directive guarantees rights for everyone

The Victim's Rights Directive (2012/29/EU) guarantees that everyone has the same rights in the criminal process, regardless of citizenship or right of residence (including illegal immigrants). These rights include, for example, the right to interpretation, translations and support services for victims of crime.

The Social Welfare Act guarantees rights to social services

According to the Social Care Act, everyone living in the municipality has the right to receive social services based on their personal needs in urgent cases, so that their right to essential care and livelihood is not jeopardized. Necessary care may include securing emergency accommodation, food, clothing and essential medicines. Healthcare services for undocumented people that extend beyond the emergency room vary depending on the municipality.

The Child Protection Act guarantees children's rights

According to the Child Protection Act, all children living in the country who need child protection have the right to services. Those staying in the country illegally always have the right to at least urgent healthcare.

In summary, the rights of crime victims to safety, protection and support are essential to enable their well-being and recovery from traumatic experiences.

Initiating child protection measures, providing information about shelters, assisting with financial matters, ensuring a safe apartment, protecting personal data and providing immediate crisis assistance and psychosocial support are essential in defending these rights.

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