Prevention of violence in close relationships

Municipalities must prevent violence in close intimate and family relationships. The Senior Officer of a Regional State Administrative Agency coordinates and directs a network of contact persons for violence prevention programmes. Finland is committed to the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention).

Violence in close relationships is a significant public health issue affecting everyone regardless of their social class, cultural background, age or sex. Forms of domestic abuse and violence in close relationships include physical, psychological, sexual, economic and digital abuse or destroying of possessions or threats thereof. Neglect and mistreatment are also forms of violence. 

Prevention of violence in close relationships in municipalities and regions

Under the Social Welfare Act, violence in close intimate and family relationships refers to a situation which requires social welfare services. In other words, addressing violence in close relationships is both a right and a responsibility. Municipalities have a statutory responsibility to prevent and address violence in close intimate and family relationships.

Violence prevention is required under international conventions and Finnish legislation. Multidisciplinary and successful efforts to prevent violence in a close relationship require a solid framework, skilled professionals, adequate services and resources for violence prevention measures. A solid framework is based on the inclusion of the management, coordination and planning of prevention of close relationship violence in the national, regional and local well-being and safety planning. Regional State Administrative Agencies direct and support the fulfillment of this statutory responsibility.

Topics that might interest you