GET HELP!

These pages will provide you with information on violence
and help with difficult situations

If you are in immediate danger, please call the general emergency number 112.

 

Domestic violence

 

Domestic violence refers to actions

in which a family member abuses you

either mentally or physically.

 

Examples of physical abuse include

violent pushing, pulling and hitting

and physical discipline of a child.

 

Emotional abuse includes

abusive name-calling,

yelling and threatening.

It may also involve

someone blocking and controlling you.

Sexual violence

 

Sexual violence

refers to sexual acts

that are done to you

without your consent.

 

These acts include

sexual touching and sex

that you don’t consent to.

 

The act may be wrong and a crime,

even if it doesn’t

cause you physical pain

or you are married to the offender.

Honour-related violence

Honour-related violence means that

you are confined,

pressured or hurt

for the honour of your family. 

 

If you’re not allowed to decide your friends,

or everything you do is monitored,

you’re being forced to marry

or threatened with violence,

you might be suffering from

honour-related violence.

 

Wearing clothes that are seen as indecent,

divorce, dating before marriage

or belonging to a sexual minority

may lead to honour-related violence.

 

Honour-related violence may also start

from a rumour or suspicion

that you have behaved ‘dishonourably’.

 

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Are you being mistreated?

Domestic violence is not always easy to recognise.

The following are examples of it:

  • Your partner berates you, calls you names or yells at you.

  • You or your children are pushed around, pulled by the hair or hit.

  • Important information concerning you is kept secret from you.

  • Your partner controls you financially, and you’re not allowed to use your own money or your own social benefits.

  • You’re not allowed to make your own decisions.

  • You’re being blackmailed or threatened.

  • You’re being stalked after a divorce or a break-up.

If you face even one of these problems, get help!

If nothing has happened yet, but you fear that you're in danger, get help!

In these videos you can see examples of how people have been helped in similar situations.

Controlling behaviour and violence

Malee’s partner, Mika, controlled the family’s money and didn’t allow Malee to leave the house. They had a small child whom Malee took care of during the days. Malee wanted to learn Finnish and make her own friends, but Mika wouldn’t allow it. When the situation escalated into arguments, Mika would yell, hit her and threaten to divorce her. He claimed that divorce would mean that Malee would lose her residence permit and custody of their child. Malee felt trapped.

She decided to contact Perheväkivaltaklinikka.

Malee was able to explain her situation with the help of an interpreter, who was arranged for her. It turned out that Mika had lied about many things relating to Finnish legislation and had also taken away social benefits that Malee was entitled to. Malee was told that the mother was still entitled to her child’s custody after a divorce and could apply for her own residence permit. Malee felt relieved to be able to speak to someone who listened and understood. She felt like a nightmare that had lasted for many years was finally coming to an end.

 

Malee and her child were referred to a shelter. A safe, permanent residence was found for them. Mika and Malee divorced. Malee gained custody of their child and Mika gained visitation rights as agreed upon. Malee is now studying Finnish and adapting to her new life in Finland.

Pushing and yelling in the family

Artur couldn’t control his feelings when he became angry. He would shove, yell and say mean things. The couple had two children: one was very quiet and timid, while the other was constantly getting into trouble at school. They were both often tired. After one particular argument, Artur went a step further than shoving and hit his wife Darya. Darya couldn’t handle her stressful everyday life any longer.

They sought help together.

They made an appointment together with Perheväkivaltaklinikka. They both explained their views about the situation. They felt that the employees listened and understood them both. After the meeting, they understood that their children had sensed the tense atmosphere at home and reacted to it. They had both thought that their arguments weren’t affecting their children because the children were always either at school or asleep during the arguments.

Together, they discussed Artur’s life and the reasons for why it was difficult for him to control himself. Artur realised that he acted similarly to how his own father had behaved when Artur was a child. He felt relieved that no one considered him to be a bad person. Artur was willing to participate in an anger management group.

Darya later told the employees during their meetings that the group had helped, and Artur now had better control over his temper. The whole family is doing better now, and the children are able to sleep well at night.

Violence in the family

The atmosphere in Oscar and Anna’s home had been tense for a long time. Oscar was very jealous and quick to anger. He didn’t like it when Anna spoke to other men. When Oscar became upset, he would throw things and shove Anna. Their daughter, Maria, was timid and kept to herself. Maria was afraid that her father would hurt her mother. The situation finally escalated when Oscar hit Anna.

Anna called the police, who contacted child welfare services. Child welfare services determined that Oscar had not hit Maria. However, they were worried that being a bystander to violence would be detrimental to Maria.

Child welfare services referred Oscar to Perheväkivaltaklinikka.

Oscar dared be honest about the situation with the crisis worker. During their discussions, it became clear that all his romantic relationships had ended due to jealousy. Oscar realised that his violent behaviour was triggered by his jealousy. He started thinking that perhaps his jealousy was not caused by Anna’s behaviour but his own uncertainty and fear of abandonment.

Oscar didn’t want to lose his family, so he decided to participate in an anger management course. On the course, Oscar learned to understand and manage his own behaviour. He learned to process his fears, which eased his feelings of jealousy.

It’s now easier for Oscar to trust Anna, and the atmosphere at home is better. Oscar still becomes angry sometimes, but he is now able to calm himself down before the situation can escalate. Maria’s fears have also eased.

 

Get help:

Pirkanmaa region:

 

Perheväkivaltaklinikka offers discussion, guidance and support groups for victims and perpetrators of domestic violence. The services are confidential, free of charge and open to all. You can seek help alone or together with a family member.

https://www.setlementtitampere.fi/pvk

 

Rest of the country:

Nollalinja is a nationwide free-of-charge helpline for anyone who has experienced violence or a threat of violence in a close relationship. Nollalinja is also available for family members of victims of violence and for professionals and officials who require advice in their work with customers.

Call 080 005 005

 

The Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters is a nationwide child welfare organization that helps children and families in difficult and insecure situations and prevents domestic violence.

https://ensijaturvakotienliitto.fi/en/

 

Lahden Jussi-työ tarjoaa keskusteluapua väkivaltaa käyttäville miehille. 

https://ensijaturvakotienliitto.fi/lahdenensijaturvakoti/palvelut/perhevakivaltatyon-avopalvelut/jussi-tyo/

 

Womens Line helps every woman and girl suffering from abuse, threats or fear. 

https://www.naistenlinja.fi/en/

 

Maria Akatemia prevents violence by women and helps women to control their feelings of hate.

https://www.mariaakatemia.fi/in-english/
 

Monika-naiset provides services for immigrant women and their children who have been subjected to violence. Live chat in Finnish, English, Arabic and Russian.

https://monikanaiset.fi/en/

 

Victim Support Finland (RIKU) improves the position of victims of crime, their loved ones and witnesses of criminal cases.

https://www.riku.fi/en/home/

 

Miessakit Association of Helsinki offers help for men who suffer from violence or use violence themselves.

https://www.miessakit.fi/en

 

SEXUAL VIOLENCE

Are you being mistreated?

Sexual violence is not always easy to recognise.

The following are examples of it:

  • You’re under 16 years old and are forced to have sex with an adult.

  • You’re forced to consent to sex every time your spouse wants to.

  • You’re pressured into doing sexual acts that you don’t want to do.

  • Someone touches you in ways that you don’t like.

  • Someone makes unwanted and disturbing propositions towards you face-to-face or online.

  • Someone hurts you with sexual words, gestures or images.

  • You are raped.

If you have even one of these problems, get help!

If nothing has happened yet, but you fear that you’re in danger, get help!

In these videos you can see examples of how people have been helped in similar situations.

Partner forced into sex

Nadia’s partner always demanded sex when he himself wanted it. When Nadia asked her partner to stop, he didn’t listen. She didn’t dare say no, because she felt that consenting to sex was her duty. It was very difficult for Nadia to talk about her feelings. She often had tremors and felt dizzy, and being touched felt bad.

Nadia talked about her situation with a crisis worker from Välitä!. It was very difficult for her to talk about things related to sex. However, Nadia felt good when she had someone listen to and understand her. Nadia felt relieved to know that she has the right to refuse to have sex if she wants to. Nadia learned to recognise her body’s symptoms. During her visits, she learned ways of calming herself.

Nadia received support and advice. Together, she and the crisis worker considered ways to resolve the situation. Nadia decided to speak openly about her nightmares and other negative feelings with her partner. Her partner had not understood how badly Nadia was suffering. He now takes Nadia’s wishes into consideration better. They are now closer and Nadia’s symptoms have eased.

Forced into sex by an acquaintance

Sofia was forced to have sex against her will. The offender was an acquaintance she had invited into her home. Sofia couldn’t believe what had happened. She felt like everything had been a dream or something that happened to someone else. Sofia felt ashamed. She thought that she herself was to blame for what had happened because she had invited the offender to her home.

Sofia decided to seek help and made an appointment with a Välitä! crisis worker.

Sofia was assisted by an interpreter. The discussion proceeded according to what Sofia was able to tell the crisis worker about the situation. She was told that the incident was not her fault, and that it was a rape. Sofia was informed of her rights and referred to a physician. Sofia was uncertain whether she wanted to report the crime. Because of this, an employee of Victim Support Finland was invited to be present at the next meeting to tell Sofia what reporting the crime would mean and what type of support she could get.

During the meetings, Sofia understood that it’s common after being raped to feel shame, blame yourself and avoid bad memories. Sofia also practised methods that helped return her sense of security and manage her negative feelings.

Sofia is doing much better now. Although she recalls the memory every once in a while, she is able to calm herself down. She knows that what happened was not her fault and that she can overcome it. Sofia has nightmares less often and dares trust people again.

A sexual relationship with a minor

Pazir, who was 20, had been dating his girlfriend for half a year. The girl’s parents found out about their relationship and filed a police report because the girl was only 15. The girl appeared older than she was and had been the one to initiate the relationship. Pazir was confused and alarmed. He didn’t understand what he was being accused of.

Pazir’s acquaintance urged him to contact a crisis worker of Välitä!.

Pazir made an appointment and told the crisis worker about his situation. He was informed that the age of consent in Finland is 16. This means that a sexual relationship between an adult and a minor under the age of 16 is a crime under the laws of Finland, even if both parties consent to the relationship. Pazir received support for handling the problem, information about his rights and advice with the criminal procedure.

Pazir decide to break up with his girlfriend. However, they decided that they would discuss their situation again once the girl turned 16. Pazir received assistance with the handling of the case in court.

 

Get help:

Pirkanmaa region:

 

Välitä! provides crisis intervention and support groups for victims and perpetrators of sexual violence as well as their friends and family. The services are confidential, free of charge and open to all.

https://www.seksuaalivakivalta.fi/

 

Rest of the country:

Nollalinja is a nationwide free-of-charge helpline for anyone who has experienced violence or a threat of violence in a close relationship. Nollalinja is also available for family members of victims of violence and for professionals and officials who require advice in their work with customers.

Call 080 005 005

Monika-naiset provides services for immigrant women and their children who have been subjected to violence. Live chat in Finnish, English, Arabic and Russian.

https://monikanaiset.fi/en/

 

Victim Support Finland (RIKU) improves the position of victims of crime, their loved ones and witnesses of criminal cases.

https://www.riku.fi/en/home/


The Sexual Assault Support Center helps people over the age of 16 who have experienced sexual assault regardless of sex or gender. 

http://www.hus.fi/en/medical-care/hospitals/womens-hospital/outpatient-clinics/Pages/Seri-Support-Center.aspx

 

Tukinainen provides support and guidance for victims of sexual assaults and their families. 

https://www.tukinainen.fi/english/

 

Turun Koski-hanke tarjoaa keskusteluapua yli 16-vuotiaille seksuaalista väkivaltaa tai sen uhkaa kokeneille sekä uhrien läheisille.

http://www.mielenterveysseurat.fi/turku/koski-hanke/

 

HONOUR-RELATED VIOLENCE

Are you being mistreated?

Honour-related violence is not always easy to recognise.

The following are examples of it:

  • You’re not allowed to decide how you dress.

  • You’re not allowed to go outside your home freely.

  • You’re not allowed to use your own money.

  • You’re not allowed to choose who you date or otherwise spend time with.

  • You’re being pressured to marry against your will.

  • You’re being pressured to hurt yourself or your relatives.

If you face even one of these problems, get help!

If nothing has happened yet, but you fear that you’re in danger, get help!

In these videos you can see examples of how people have been helped in similar situations.

Forced to marry by her family

Sara’s family was pressuring her to marry. The man was much older than her, and they had never met. Sara refused, but her parents wouldn’t listen. Sara had a boyfriend, but didn’t dare tell her family about him. She didn’t know what to do.

She decided to seek help.

She called an employee of DIDAR and made an appointment, free of charge. Sara felt relieved that she didn’t have to tell them her name. Based on their discussions, it became clear that Sara hadn’t told anyone about her situation, aside from her boyfriend. Sara asked that her parents not be contacted, and this wish was respected.

Sara and the employee of DIDAR decided together that an attempt would be made to resolve the disagreements by talking, as Sara’s parents seemed to want the best for her. Sara was encouraged to find a trustworthy person within her family with whom she would dare talk about her situation. Sara spoke with her uncle, who understood her worries and talked about them with her parents.

A meeting was proposed between the parents, Sara, her uncle and employees from DIDAR and child welfare services. The meeting was held, and everyone involved voiced their own views.

The news about the boyfriend came as a shock to the parents, but they still agreed to listen to Sara’s views and wishes. They understood that forcing her to marry could break the good relationships between the family members. Sara was prepared to come to an agreement with her parents about ground rules for dating. Finally, her parents decided to abandon their plans for her marriage.

Pressured by family to hurt his sister

Anwar’s family thought that his younger sister, Idil, had ‘dishonoured’ the family by dating a Finnish boy. Anwar’s relatives tried to pressure him into giving his sister ‘a lesson’. Anwar didn’t want to hurt Idil.

He decided to seek help.

He contacted DIDAR. The situation was discussed. Anwar and Idil were referred to a shelter until the situation calmed down. As Idil was only 17, child welfare services were also contacted. Social workers invited the parents to discuss the problem with employees of DIDAR. At first, Anwar and Idil’s parents were angry and refused to speak. Finally, their worry for their children grew too strong and they changed their minds.

The situation was discussed during several meetings. An interpreter was arranged for the family because they spoke neither Finnish nor English. They were told that Idil wanted to return home as long as it was safe for her there. Although the parents didn’t like the situation, they learned to understand Anwar and Idil better.

The parents contacted the relatives living outside Finland who had pressured Anwar. They agreed that Anwar would keep an eye on her younger sister to make sure that her relationship progressed according to the ground rules agreed upon. Finally, the threat of violence was gone.

Now Anwar and Idil are safe and the family is together again. Child welfare services continue to check up on the family but only to ensure that everything is all right.

Controlling behaviour and pressure

Suna’s husband, Azzat, made all the decisions in the family. Azzat thought that this was the man’s role in the family. They argued about it often, but the situation didn’t change. Both of their money went straight into Azzat’s account; Suna only received very small amounts of money for her own use. Additionally, Suna was not allowed to go outside their home without her husband’s permission. Suna wanted to learn Finnish and make her own friends. When one of their two children began to act up in school, Suna felt completely worn out.

She and Azzat sought help together.

They made an appointment at DIDAR, and an interpreter was arranged to be present at the meeting. Suna and Azzat both had the chance to voice how they felt. The DIDAR employee listened to them and helped them understand each other.

Their child’s disruptive behaviour was also discussed. They had both thought that their arguments weren’t affecting their children because the children were always either at school or sleeping during the arguments. However, the children had heard and sensed their quarrel, which had led to insomnia, stress and negative feelings. The couple’s older child was being disruptive, while their younger child was quiet and timid and didn’t dare bring friends home.

When Suna and Azzat understood that their children had suffered from the situation, Azzat too decided that things needed to change. Azzat was ready to give Suna more responsibility and authority to make decisions. Suna also signed up for a Finnish course. They now rarely fight and their children are doing better.

 

Get help:

Pirkanmaa region:

 

DIDAR helps people recognise harmful traditions in their culture and prevent honour-related conflicts. DIDAR offers group activities in different languages and guidance in situations that involve a threat of honour-related violence. The services are confidential, free of charge and open to all.

https://www.didar.fi/

 

Rest of the country:

SOPU aims to prevent honour related conflicts and violence in families and communities. 

https://soputila.fi/en/

 

The Finnish League of Human Rights prevents honour conflicts and human rights violations in Finland.

https://ihmisoikeusliitto.fi/english/honour-based-violence/

Victim Support Finland (RIKU) improves the position of victims of crime, their loved ones and witnesses of criminal cases.

https://www.riku.fi/en/home/

Monika-naiset provides services for immigrant women and their children who have been subjected to violence. Live chat in Finnish, English, Arabic and Russian.

https://monikanaiset.fi/en/

Useful links and information:

As a victim or a witness in court – Practical tips

https://www.riku.fi/binary/file/-/id/120/fid/1888/

 

Guide on the criminal process for victims of sexual crimes

https://www.riku.fi/binary/file/-/id/120/fid/1830

 

Criminal procedure guide for young victims of crime

https://www.riku.fi/binary/file/-/id/103/fid/1398/

 

Was it a hate crime?

https://www.riku.fi/binary/file/-/id/126/fid/1765/

 

Rights of a crime victim 

https://oikeus.fi/material/attachments/oikeus/tietoarikoksenuhrinoikeuksista2017/6hnIsPe2j/Rights_of_a_Crime_Victim.pdf

 

If you become a victim of a crime

https://oikeus.fi/en/index/esitteet/josjoudutrikoksenuhriksi.html

 

Information on legal aid

https://oikeus.fi/en/index/esitteet/oikeusapu.html

 

Guide on restraining orders

https://oikeus.fi/en/index/esitteet/lahestymiskielto.html

 

Information on human trafficking

http://www.humantrafficking.fi/in_english

 

Infopankki offers basic information about Finland and Finnish laws

https://www.infopankki.fi/en/frontpage

 

Lastensuojelu.info provides information about child welfare in Finland

https://www.lastensuojelu.info/en/

 

Turun Kriisikeskuksen Serene-hanke tukee pakolaistaustaisten ihmisten mielenterveyttä ja turvallisuuden tunnetta.

http://www.mielenterveysseurat.fi/turku/serene/

 
The HaeApua.info website is produced by Setlementti Tampere ry and funded by the Ministry of Justice. The purpose of this website is to improve the legal protection of people who reside in Finland but who have a limited understanding of the Finnish language and legislation.
The people featured on this website are actors and actresses.
They have no connection to the cases.

(c) Setlementti Tampere ry