Combating domestic and intimate partner violence
In a family or an intimate partnership, there may be physical, mental, sexual or economic violence, violence targeting property or threats of it. Neglect and abuse are also forms of violence.
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for the planning and steering of work aimed at combating domestic and intimate partner violence. The aim of the ministry is to develop a nationwide service system, which will provide all those involved in domestic and intimate partner violence with services and support irrespective of their place of residence. Preventive practices are also being actively developed.
A cross-administrative working group of public servants is supporting and coordinating the work aimed at reducing domestic and intimate partner violence.
Provisions on domestic and intimate partner violence are contained in the Criminal Code, which comes within the purview of the Ministry of Justice.
Information and assistance for victims of domestic and intimate partner violence
In this area, the focus of the social and health policy strategy and the Government Programme is on
- developing ways of combating domestic and intimate partner violence as a joint effort involving different administrative sectors
- reducing the suffering and decreasing the cost arising from violence to the victims, employers and municipalities
- developing services for the victims and perpetrators of domestic, intimate partner and sexual violence
- ensuring that the national action plan to reduce violence against women is implemented
- improving opportunities for cooperation between the police and social authorities during home visits connected with violence
- increasing places in shelters and ensuring a more balanced regional distribution of the places.
Responsibilities of the authorities
The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) is responsible for coordinating the nationwide work to combat domestic and intimate partner violence.
THL is also responsible for coordinating and implementing the national action plan to reduce violence against women between 2010 and 2015.
Combating domestic and intimate partner violence is a priority area in the internal security programme, which is coordinated by the Ministry of the Interior.
The aim of the Daphne Programme of the EU is to combat violence against children, young people and women and protect victims of violence and groups at risk.
Guidelines and recommendations
The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has issued publications for social and health services on how domestic and intimate partner violence should be combated.
The ministry has issued a guide on assisting immigrant women who have experienced violence.
The aim of the national action plan to reduce corporal punishment of children is to strengthen the human dignity of children and to increase mutual respect between children and their parents.