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Preventing domestic and intimate partner violence

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health is responsible for the planning and steering of the prevention of domestic and intimate partner violence. The aim is to develop the nationwide service system so that it will be able to provide services and support to all parties in domestic and intimate partner violence irrespective of their place of residence. Preventive methods are also developed actively.

Family members and intimate partners may be experiencing violence or threat of violence, including physical, psychological, sexual or economic violence or destruction of property. Neglect and abuse, too, constitute violence.

A Committee for Combating Violence against Women and Domestic Violence started operating at the beginning of 2017. It is related to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention). The term of the Committee will last four years, from 1 January 2017 to 31 December 2020. The Committee will be operating under the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health. Previously, domestic and intimate partner violence matters were coordinated by an intersectoral civil servant working group for the prevention of domestic and intimate partner violence. It completed its work at the end of 2016.

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.

Domestic and intimate partner violence in the Criminal Code

Provisions on domestic and intimate partner violence are laid down by the Criminal Code of Finland, which is under the purview of the Ministry of Justice.

Authorities’ responsibilities

The National Institute for Health and Welfare (THL) coordinates the nationwide work to prevent domestic and intimate partner violence.

Mediation in domestic violence cases under review

The Advisory Board on Mediation in Criminal Cases has appointed a working group to review the current practices of mediation in cases of domestic and intimate partner violence. The interim report should be completed by the end of 2017 and final report in spring 2019 at the latest. Mediation in cases of domestic and intimate partner violence is mentioned in the Government Action Plan for Gender Equality.

Guidelines and recommendations

The Ministry of Social Affairs and Health has issued recommendations for health and social services concerning the prevention of domestic and intimate partner violence.

The handbook on immigrant women and violence supports professionals in helping immigrant women who have experienced violence.

The National Action Plan against Disciplinary Violence aimed to strengthen the human dignity of children and to increase mutual respect between children and their parents.

Further information

Laura Terho, lakimies 
STM, Hyvinvointi- ja palveluosasto / HPO, Asiakkuus ja toimintaympäristö -yksikkö / ASTO, Hyvinvoinnin- ja terveydensuojelu -tulosryhmä / HYT 0295163550  


Pirjo Lillsunde, Ministerial Adviser 
STM, Hyvinvointi- ja palveluosasto / HPO, Asiakkuus ja toimintaympäristö -yksikkö / ASTO, Hyvinvoinnin- ja terveydensuojelu -tulosryhmä / HYT 0295163177