Finland. Sexual violence by strangers - Labirint
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Finland. Sexual violence by strangers

    Finland. Sexual violence by strangers

    We have collected instructions, recommendations and contacts, which can help you in the chosen country and situation

    01. Call the Police

    — What should I do if I am in danger and need emergency help?

    Phone number 112, you can also call to the support center for the victims of domestic and sexual violence, where you will receive councelling and support fro working out your next steps Nollalinja — 080 005 005

    — Do I need documents/being registered in the country to call the police?

    No, but police can ask for them later. The hotline for victims of domestic and sexual violence is safe you can receive help regardless of your migration status you can also call the center for migrants support  (Pakolaisneuvonta) which is providing free legal aid to foreigners. Consultations are provided in Finnish and English. Phone: 09 2313 9325 (monday – friday 10:00 – 12:00); email: neuvonta(at)pakolaisneuvonta.fi Consultation of undocumented migrants: 045 2377 104 (Mondays 14:00 – 16:00). Email: paperittomat(at)pakolaisneuvonta.fi.

    — When I call the police, what language should I speak?

    Police should be able to speak English. Support center for women Nollalinja — 080 005 005 is providing translation. All the operators speak English. You can also ask for translation into Russian. If you need this, at the beginning of the call state that you need translation into Russian and wait, operator will need up to 10 minutes to connect the translator to the call.

    — If I have any migration issues (e.g., visa overstay), is it safe for me to call the police? Can an administrative case be initiated against me?

    Yes it can be. It is safer to start from women support center Nollalinja — 080 005 005. They can consult you on the best course of action and provide shelter.

    — Can I say that I am a victim of domestic violence? Authorities’ formal and informal attitudes towards victims of domestic violence.

    Yes, domestic violence is a criminal offence, it is taken seriously.

    — How long will it take for the police to come? What should I do if they do not come?

    From several minutes to an hour. If they don’t come, call again.

    — What should I say when they come?

    Describe your situation, provide evidence, ask for temporary restraining order (you will need to apply in the district court later for longer restraining order).

    — What evidence is needed to bring a case against the abuser and prosecute? Do there have to be physical evidence?

    Documentary evidence in a restraining order case can be: email and text messages, letters, medical certificates or copies of medical records, records from social services or shelters. 

    Write down all incidents related to the matter as well as times and amounts of the harassment. Keep the messages and other material. 

    02. Get medical help

    — How to get medical help?

    Call 112.

    — When I call the ambulance, what language should I speak?

    English (if you don’t speak finnish, or swedish). 

    — Do I need money/documents/being registered in the country to get medical help?

    Medical coverage depends on the registration status. Those with a residence permit and a permanent municipality of residence have the right to social and health care services, even if they are not Finnish citizens. If you are not registered in Finland, the number of services will be limited. The services are provided free of charge and urgent assistance will be provided to undocumented migrants as well. See more below.

    — If I have migration issues (e.g., visa overstay), is it safe for me to ask for medical help? Can an administrative case be initiated against me?

    Undocoumented migrants living in Finnish municipalities  have the right to essential social care services and urgent health care services. In addition, some municipalities have decided to extend the rights of the undocumented migrants to other health and social care services.

    Urgent care at own cost is provided for undocumented migrants in public health care. The costs of the treatment are reimbursed to the municipality by the central government if the undocumented person is unable to pay them.

    Urgent care usually refers to:

    • Immediate assessment and care required by a sudden illness, injury, a long-term illnesses that takes a turn for the worse or reduced functional capacity that cannot be postponed without making the illness or the injury worse;
    • Urgent oral health care, mental health care, intoxicant abuse treatment and psychosocial support;
    • Urgent care does not include monitoring a pregnancy or a new-born, or treating chronic illnesses.

    The Cities of Helsinki, Espoo and Turku have decided to treat undocumented migrants. In Helsinki, all undocumented migrants are offered urgent care on the same terms and for the same charges as residents of Helsinki. In autumn 2017 the City of Helsinki decided to expand the services for undocumented migrants to cover also vaccinations and treatment of chronic illnesses.

    The City of Turku (spring 2016) and the City of Espoo (autumn 2016) have decided to provide health care services for undocumented pregnant women and children following the model introduced by the City of Helsinki.

    Undocumented migrants are also treated at the Global Clinic run by volunteers. The clinic offers free primary health care level treatment to persons staying in Finland who have no access to public health care. However, providing assistance based on volunteer activities is not a sustainable solution for safeguarding the health care of undocumented persons.

    — What should I say to medical staff?

    If you want to proceed with filing domestic violence case/ applying for restraining order you might inform medical staff so that they document your situation according to the court evidence standards.

    Legislation punishing domestic and intimate partner sexual violence?

    In Finland central Acts concerning gender violence are:

    • The Constitution of Finland (731/1999);
    • Marriage Act (234/1929; amendments up to 1226/2001 included);
    • Child Welfare Act (683/1983);
    • The Penal Code of Finland (39/1889; amendments up to 650/2003 as well as 1372/2003, 650/2004 and 1006/2004 included);
    • The Sex Offence Code (563/1998; is included in the Penal Code of Finland of chapter 20);
    • The Restraining Order (898/1998);
    • Act on Equality between Women and Men (609/1986; amendments up to 232/2005 included);
    • Non-Discrimination Act (21/2004; as amended by Act No 50/2006).

    1) Intimate partner and domestic violence as a crime according to the Penal Code: In Finland domestic violence has been a public prosecution crime since 1995. According to the code, also violence that occurs in private sphere is divided into three categories: petty assault, assault and grievous bodily injury. Only petty assault is a plaintiff crime. It means that the police investigates only when the victim of the crime demands that the perpetrator be punished. In petty cases, the police can, with the consent of the plaintiff, sentence the suspect to a fine which will be determined by the prosecutor. In such cases a pre-trial investigation record is not necessarily drawn up. Assault and grievous bodily injury are, like most crimes, public prosecution crimes. As such, they are always investigated by the police when brought to their attention. Assault and rape are public prosecution crimes also when they take place in the home or when the perpetrator is a family member.

    About the implementation of the Penal Code: If you become a victim of this crime You can report the crime to the police that arrives at the scene of the crime, in person at a police station or by phone, e-mail or fax. The report can be made at any police station, and it can be made on your behalf by somebody else. Also in intimate partner and domestic violence cases, you should go and see a doctor because a medical certificate is essential evidence for getting a restraining order and it may be necessary at the trial or when you apply for compensation from the insurance company or the State Treasury. If it is a question of sexual assault, you should avoid washing yourself and changing your clothes before you see the doctor. When investigating the crime, the police want to know if you, the victim, demand that the perpetrator of the crime be punished. If at this stage of the legal process you state that you do not demand punishment or if you later withdraw your demand for punishment, you may forfeit your right to press charges. This is important to know in case the prosecutor decides to waive the prosecution.

    2) Sex offence code Renewed sex offence code entered into force on January 1st in 1999. Under this Act sex offences are divided into three categories. They are: compelling to a sexual intercourse, rape and gross rape. Compelling to a sexual intercourse is only a plaintiff crime, in which case victim has to report the offence and demand that the perpetrator be punished. Rape and gross rape are public prosecution crimes. Rape in a marriage was criminalised in 1994. It is a punishable offence such as other sex offences.

    3) About a Right to Trial counsel You are entitled to use legal assistance when you report a crime to the police and at hearings and the trial. In such cases the fee of the attorney is paid either in full or in part by state funds depending on the income of the victim. Legal aid is applied for at the State Legal Aid Offices. They will ascertain the financial circumstances of the applicant. The legal aid includes, for example, counselling and assistance at the trial. The attorney can be a public legal aid attorney employed at the legal aid office, a private lawyer or some other litigator. Legal aid can be given at every stage of the proceedings. Regardless of the income of the victim, the court can grant her or him an attorney for the pre-trial investigation and the trial If the matter concerns a sexual crime or violence committed by somebody close to the victim. The fee of the attorney will, in such cases, be paid by state funds.

    • List of Articles from Administrative and Criminal Codes

    The Penal Code of Finland (39/1889; amendments up to 650/2003 as well as 1372/2003, 650/2004 and 1006/2004 included).

    03. List of local (N)GOs who can help?

    — List of local (N)GOs who can help

    The Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters – nationwide child welfare organization that helps children and families in difficult and insecure situations and prevents violence against women and domestic violence

    • Asemamiehenkatu 4
    • FIN-00520 Helsinki
    • Tel. +358 9 4542440
    • E-mail: toimisto@etkl.fi

    Crisis Center Monika

    • crisis help;
    • psycho-social support;
    • peer support groups;
    • counseling and service advising;
    • supportive housing services after a period in a shelter.

    Services are for all women with an immigrant background, having experienced violence or a threat of it. All  services are free of charge and anonymous. Services are provided in following languages: Arabian, Dari, English, Spanish, Farsi, Persian, French, Finnish, Belarussian, and Russian. Women can receive assistance without appointment from Monday to Friday 9 am to 5 pm. You can also book an appointment by calling 0800 05058. Address is Hermannin Rantatie 12 A, 4th floor, 00580 Helsinki (Kalasatama).

    See arrival instructions and information about accessibility

    Helpline 0800 05058 is open on Monday from 9 am to 7 pm, and from Tuesday to Friday from 9 am to 4 pm. Calling the helpline is free of charge. Email: kriisikeskus(at)monikanaiset.fi

    Shelter Mona provides:

    • safe housing in crisis situation;
    • presence in daily life;
    • psycho-social support;
    • peer support in groups;
    • service guidance. 

    Shelter Mona is meant for short-term housing. The services are available in following languages: Albanian, Arabian, Bulgarian, Dari, English, Estonian, Finnish, German, Italian, Mari, Russian´, Spanish and Swedish. If it is dangerous for you to stay at home, call +358 45 6396 274 at any time.

    Tukinainen is a national victim support center that provides support and guidance for people who have been sexually assaulted or abused.

    Free Crisis Helpline (Guidance and advice concerning sexual violence. Information on various forms of available help) 0800-97899 Mon–Thu | 9am – 3pm Fridays | Closed Sat–Sun | 3pm – 9pm

    Free Legal Helpline (Information and advice from lawyers on legal aspects of sexual crime; You may talk with one of our lawyers already before reporting a crime to the police, even if You choose not to report it. Individual appointments and legal counsel available) 0800-97895 Mon–Thu | 1pm – 4pm

    • Po.Box 160
    • 00131 Helsinki,
    • Finland
    • Tel. office +358 (0)9-5860 360 
    • Fax +358 (0)9-685 1979 E-mail: office(at)tukiainen.fi

    Did our instructions help?

    When compiling the instructions, we relied on the help of volunteers and lawyers from different countries. If something went wrong – the organization didn’t respond to you, you found a bug or the instructions weren’t precise enough – tell us about it. Email us at: help@labirint.online

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