Preventing domestic and intimate partner violence

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for planning and guiding the prevention of domestic and family violence. The aim is to prevent violence and develop the nationwide service system so that it can provide services and support to all parties in domestic and family violence irrespective of their place of residence. 

People may experience violence or threat of violence, including physical, psychological, sexual, economic, digital or honour-related violence, in domestic relationships or within families. Neglect and abuse may also constitute violence. 

Implementation of the Istanbul Convention in Finland

Finland is committed to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). The Convention entered into force in Finland on 1 August 2015. 

In Finland, the coordinating body required under the Istanbul Convention is the Committee for Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence (NAPE), which operates in connection with the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. The Committee is tasked with coordinating, monitoring and assessing the implementation of the Convention in Finland. It is also responsible for drawing up action plans for the Istanbul Convention. 

Supporting victims of violence

The wellbeing services counties organise health and social services for victims of violence. In addition, the State is responsible for organising shelter services and the operation of the Nollalinja helpline.

Shelters are meant for people and families who have experienced or been threatened with domestic violence. Shelter clients are offered, for example, round-the-clock secured housing, crisis counselling and psychosocial support. Shelters are free of charge to clients, and people can go to a shelter on their own initiative. Other services also refer clients to shelters. For more information: Shelters for victims of domestic violence – Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare

The Nollalinja helpline (080 005 005) offers support to anyone who has experienced domestic violence, women who have experienced violence, family members and friends of victims of violence, and professionals. The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare is responsible for organising the helpline’s operation, and the service is provided by the Tampere Settlement Association. The Ministry of Justice funds the helpline. For more information: Nollalinja website and information about Nollalinja on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (in Finnish and Swedish).

The Seri Support Centres provide support for people over 16 years of age who have experienced sexual violence. You can seek help from the centre on your own or with your family or friends or you can be referred there by the authorities. The Seri Support Centres provide forensic examination, trauma support, psychological counselling and therapy. For more information: Seri Support Centre for victims of sexual violence – Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (in Finnish and Swedish)

More information on services for victims of violence is available, for example, on the website of the Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (in Finnish and Swedish). 

The Criminal Code of Finland lays down provisions on violent and sexual offences. For more information, please visit the website of the Ministry of Justice

Further information

Minna Viuhko, Senior Specialist 
Ministry of Social Affairs and Health, Department for Safety, Security and Health / TUTO, Wellbeing and Health Protection Unit / HYT Telephone:0295163470   Email Address: