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Apua ongelmatilanteisiin

Help in problem situations

Published21.06.2022
Anyone can face difficult problems and need help. In Finland, you can get confidential help and advice in order to cope with difficult life situations. This page will advise you on how to deal with problem situations and where to get help.

If you need police assistance quickly, call the emergency number 112. Only call the emergency number in case of emergencies where life, health, property or the environment is in danger.

If you have problems paying bills, you can get help and advice on financial matters. If your income is reduced, find out if you are entitled, for example, to a housing allowance. If your income and means are not sufficient to cover your necessary everyday expenses, such as food and medicine, you may be entitled to income support.

Read more on the InfoFinland page Financial problems .

 

Do you need a lawyer?

In legal matters, you can get help from a lawyer. They will advise you and ensure that your rights are secured.

When you seek help from a lawyer, you should find out whether they are competent in the matters that you need help with. Not all firms or people who offer help with legal matters are necessarily competent.

Typical things that require help include:

  • residence permit matters
  • marital contracts, divorce and child support
  • work-related disputes, wages due
  • business agreements and debts
  • tenancy agreements and eviction
  • criminal cases, restraining order
  • will and matters of inheritance
  • appeals in matters such as income support, taking a child into care or Kela reimbursements.

Advice in legal matters is provided by law firms and state legal aid offices that employ public legal aid attorneys.

Public legal aid

The services of a lawyer are subject to a fee, but if your income is low or average, you may be eligible for free or partially reimbursed legal aid from a state legal aid office. Public legal aid is also provided in English, and the services of an interpreter may be employed if necessary. Public legal aid can be applied for at a state legal aid office.

If you have legal expenses insurance to cover your costs, you are not eligible for public legal aid. Legal expenses insurance is often included in home insurance policies.

Private lawyers and attorneys

You can search for a lawyer, for example, through the Etsi asianajaja service on the website of the Finnish Bar Association (Suomen Asianajajaliito).

Refugee Advice Centre

The Refugee Advice Centre (Pakolaisneuvonta) provides legal advice to asylum seekers, refugees and other foreigners free of charge. Counselling is available in Finnish and English. You can also send e-mail.

Tel. 09 2313 9325 (Mon–Fri at 10 am–12 noon)

E-mail: neuvonta(at)pakolaisneuvonta.fi

Advice for undocumented foreigners: 045 2377 104 (Mondays at 2–4 pm).

E-mail: paperittomat(at)pakolaisneuvonta.fi

 

Link redirects to another websitePublic Legal Aid Office

Information on legal aid

Link redirects to another websiteJudicial system

Legal Aid Offices

Link redirects to another websiteRefugee Advice Centre

Legal aid for refugees

If you become a victim of crime

If you need police assistance quickly, call the emergency number 112. Only call the emergency number in case of emergencies where life, health, property or the environment is in danger.

Reporting a crime

Everyone is entitled to report a crime to the police by filing a police report. A crime can be reported to the police anywhere, regardless of where it took place. You can report a crime:

  • at a police station during the opening hours of the reception of criminal reports; or
  • electronically on the police website.

If it is a minor offence and you do not urgently need the police, you cannot report it by phone.

Victim Support Finland

If you are a victim of a crime, you can get support and advice from Victim Support Finland. You can contact Victim Support Finland by telephone or chat or visit a local service point. Victim Support Finland (Rikosuhripäivystys) also offers free legal advice.

Victim Support Finland also gives non-discrimination advice. You can contact an advice number if you suspect that you have been discriminated against.

You can find the contact information of Victim Support Finland on the website.

Legal aid in a criminal procedure

Legal aid means that you can get an attorney for free or with the government paying part of the costs. Suspects are also entitled to legal aid.

Mediation

Criminal cases can also be mediated if the victim and suspect agree to this. The purpose of mediation is to agree on compensation for the damage caused by the crime.

Help with 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. A child finds physical punishment frightening. It is also detrimental to the child’s development and an ineffective way of punishing children.

Examples of violence include:

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

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

Nollalinja

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.

Shelters

If your spouse or family member is violent towards you, you can stay at a shelter. You will be safe at the shelter, and 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.

Help with 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.

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, although it is a good idea to call in advance.

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

Link redirects to another websiteMonika – Multicultural Women’s Association

Aid and support to immigrant women

Link redirects to another websiteFederation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters

Contact information for shelters

Link redirects to another websiteRape Crisis Centre Tukinainen

Support for victims of sexual violence

Link redirects to another websiteHospital District of Helsinki and Uusimaa HUS

Seri Support Center

Help with honour related conflicts

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.

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.

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.

Restraining order

If someone is continuously threatening or harassing you and you would like some protection, you can apply for a restraining order. 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. Advice can be obtained from your local social office or legal aid office. If you have evidence of threats and harassment, keep the evidence in your possession.

If you fall victim to human trafficking or forced labour

Human trafficking is a crime in Finland. The following acts are regarded as human trafficking:

  • forcing someone to work without pay or for too little pay
  • forcing someone to sell sex
  • forcing someone to beg or commit crimes
  • forcing someone to marry.

Are you a victim of human trafficking?

You may be a victim of human trafficking if:

  • someone is pressuring you to do things you do not want to do
  • someone is making threats of violence against you or your family
  • someone is threatening to report you to authorities if you do not do as they want
  • someone is preventing or controlling your movements
  • you are unable to freely discuss your situation with others.

Victims of human trafficking can be women, men or children. Human traffickers can be professional criminals, but also acquaintances, friends or relatives of the victim.

Aid to victims of human trafficking

Victims of human trafficking can get help. If you suspect that you are a victim of human trafficking, contact the Assistance system for victims of human trafficking. You can find the contact information on the ihmiskauppa.fi website.

Victim Support Finland

If you are a victim of a crime, you can get support and advice from Victim Support Finland. You can contact Victim Support Finland by telephone or chat or visit a local service point. Victim Support Finland (Rikosuhripäivystys) also offers free legal advice.

If someone has forced you to sell sex, you can also get help from Pro-tukipiste. There are services in Helsinki, Tampere and Turku. You can find their contact information on the Pro-tukipiste website.

Residence permit for victims of human trafficking

If you have been or may reasonably be suspected of having been the victim of human trafficking, you may be granted a residence permit in Finland. You must be in Finland in order to apply for a residence permit as a victim of human trafficking. If you are in a particularly vulnerable situation, you can obtain a continuous residence permit. For additional information on the residence permit for victims of human trafficking, please contact the Finnish Immigration Service.

Residence permit or certificate due to exploitation by employer

If you already have a residence permit in Finland and have been the victim of exploitation by your employer, you can apply for an extended permit or a certificate of expanded right to work due to exploitation by employer. Apply for an extended permit due to exploitation by employer if your current residence permit is about to expire and you do not yet have a new employer. Apply for a certificate due to exploitation by employer if you have a valid residence permit and you have found a new employer. With a certificate or extended permit, you can work in any field.