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What counts as violence?

Examples of violence include:

  • intimidation, following, surveillance
  • subjugation and coercion
  • hitting, kicking and pushing
  • sexual violence

In Finland, violence is a crime. Violence against one’s own family members is also a crime. Physical punishment of children, such as hitting them, is also a crime.

Help can be obtained by both the victim and the offender.

Sexual violence

Examples of sexual violence include:

  • Rape
  • Forced sexual acts
  • Sexual abuse
  • Buying sex from persons under 18 years of age or victims of human trafficking
  • Sex with a person under 16 years of age
  • Procuration

Sexual violence can also occur in romantic relationships and marriage. Sexual violence is always an offence, even in marriage.

Honour related violence

Honour related violence is violence aimed at defending the family’s honour when a member of the family is suspected of violating its honour.

In Finland, defending the family’s honour is not an acceptable reason for threats, pressurising or violence. Violence and threats are regarded as crimes, irrespective of the victim’s and offender’s cultural background.

Examples of honour related violence include:

  • pressurising
  • restriction, for example, by prohibiting certain kinds of clothing, relationships and hobbies
  • threats of, for example, sending the person to his/her home country
  • forced marriages or prevention of divorce.

Help with violence

When in need of police assistance, call the general emergency number 112. Do not call the emergency number if it is not an urgent emergency. More information on emergencies is available on the page Emergencies.


Tel. 080 005 005
Open: every day

Nollalinja is a helpline you can call if you have experienced violence, sexual violence or threats of violence in your family. You can call at any time. The staff of the service speak Finnish, Swedish and English.

Nollalinja also makes use of interpretation services in six languages around the clock. The interpretation languages are Russian, Somali, Sorani, Persian, Dari and Arabic.

Calling Nollalinja is free of charge and does not leave a record on the phone bill. You do not need to reveal your name when calling. Nollalinja is intended for both women and men.

Crisis Center Monika
Tel. 0800 05058
Open: weekdays

Crisis Center Monika’s helpline is intended for immigrant women. The helpline serves in many different languages. You can call if you have experienced violence, sexual violence or threats of violence.

Calling is free of charge. Crisis Center Monika can also be contacted through chat. The chat serves in Finnish, English, Russian and Arabic.

HelplineFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Somali | Persian | Arabic | Kurdish

linkkiCrisis Center Monika:

linkkiMonika – Multicultural Women’s Association:
Aid and support to immigrant women(pdf, 212kt)Finnish | English | Russian | French | Somali | Arabic | Kurdish | Thai


If your spouse or family member is violent towards you, you can go stay at a shelter (turvakoti). You will be safe at the shelter – there is always staff there. You will get help with ending violence and advice for getting through the situation. Staying at a shelter is free of charge. You can also contact a shelter if a family member has threatened you with violence.

The Mona Shelter is only intended for immigrant women and their children. Call the number 045 639 6274 if you need a place at the shelter.

linkkiNational Institute for Health and Welfare:
Contact information of sheltersFinnish | Swedish

linkkiMonika – Multicultural Women’s Association:
Aid and support to immigrant women(pdf, 212kt)Finnish | English | Russian | French | Somali | Arabic | Kurdish | Thai

Help with sexual violence

Rape Crisis Centre Tukinainen
Tel. 0800 97899

Tukinainen is a rape crisis centre, which provides help and support to victims of sexual violence. Support is provided in Finnish and English.

SERI Support Center
tel. 040 701 8446

There is a SERI Support Center for victims of sexual violence in Helsinki. SERI Support Center helps and gives advice to people who have experienced sexual violence. The Support Center’s services include medical examinations and counselling by a psychologist. The Support Center helps people of all genders. You can come to SERI Support Center directly, though it is a good idea to call in advance

You can also seek help at your municipality’s health centre.

linkkiRape Crisis Centre Tukinainen:
Support for victims of sexual violenceFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiHospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa HUS:
Seri Support CenterFinnish | Swedish | English

Help with honour related conflicts

If you have experienced honour related violence or threats in your family, you can contact Sopu work. You can find the contact information on the Sopu work website.

linkkiSOPU work:
Honour related conflictsFinnish | English | Somali | Turkish | Persian

Help in stopping violent behaviour

Miehen Linja
Tel. 09 276 62 899
E-mail: kontakti(at)lyomatonlinja.fi

Miehen Linja is a service for immigrant men who have behaved violently towards their partners or other family members or are afraid of doing so. You can make an appointment by telephone, chat or e-mail. Miehen Linja serves in Finnish, English, Swedish, French and Greek. You can also be served in your native language via an interpreter.

Maria Akatemia
Tel. 09 7562 2260

Maria Akatemia helps women who have used violence against family members or afraid that they will do so.

linkkiMiehen linja:
Help for immigrant menFinnish | English

linkkiMaria Akatemia:
Help for women in stopping violent behaviourFinnish | Swedish | English

Trauma and mental health

If you have experienced violence or traumatic situations, you are at risk of post-traumatic stress disorder. In such situations, you should seek help from health experts. Read more on issues related to mental health on the InfoFinland page Mental health.

Restraining order

If someone is continuously threatening or harassing you and you would like some protection, you can apply for a restraining order (lähestymiskielto). A restraining order means that the affected person is not allowed to contact you. You can apply for a restraining order at a police station or the district court (käräjäoikeus). Advice can be obtained from your local social office (sosiaalitoimisto) or Public Legal Aid Office (oikeusaputoimisto). If you have evidence of threats and harassment, keep the evidence in your possession.

linkkiVictim Support Finland:
Information on restraining ordersFinnish | Swedish | English

Information on restraining orderFinnish | Swedish | English