Victim protection


Protection measures

In some cases, the victim may be exposed to intimidation, retaliation or additional suffering due to the criminal procedure. The authorities make an assessment of the victim's special needs for protection during the criminal investigation and trial and of the protection measures required. The assessment is carried out together with the victim, and the victim's personal features and circumstances as well as the nature of the offence are taken into account.

During the criminal investigation, protection measures can be applied if they do not significantly delay the procedure or cause any other harm. One of the possible measures is to conduct questionings in separate facilities designed for that purpose. At the victim's request, the questionings may be conducted by the same person or persons or by a person of the same gender as the victim.

In some cases, the victim may be heard in a trial behind a screen, via video connection or without the defendant or public being present. The questioning of a victim may in some cases be video-recorded and the recording then be used as evidence in a trial, for example if the victim is under 18 years of age.

In order to protect the privacy of the victim, the court may, under certain conditions, hear a case without any public being present and order the trial documents and the judgment to be secret to the extent necessary. The victim may request this at the court. The court may in some cases also order that the identity of the victim be kept secret. This is possible for example in court proceedings related to sex offences.

The court considers the trial arrangements and protection measures always on a case-by-case basis, taking into account that the rights of the defence must not be restricted. The decision of the court may thus deviate from an earlier assessment.

Restraining order

If you feel threatened or harassed, you can apply for a restraining order against the person threatening you. The decision to issue a restraining order is made by a district court. A temporary restraining order with immediate effect may also be issued by the police. All possible evidence of threatening behaviour should be preserved.

If a person protected by a restraining order moves to another EU Member State and feels that he or she needs protection also there, he or she may request the court that issued the original restraining order to issue a European Protection Order.

For more information on restraining orders, please visit www.poliisi.fi/en and www.oikeus.fi/en/.

Other issues

In serious threatening situations, the victim may request non-disclosure of contact details, non-disclosure for personal safety reasons, or even a change of his or her name or personal identity code. Further information on these measures can be requested from the authorities or the support services for victims.

In certain serious offences, the victim has the right, at his or her request, to be notified if the prisoner or remand prisoner is released, escapes or, under certain conditions, exits the prison for some other reason. If the victim wishes to receive such a notification, he or she must inform the criminal investigation authority or prosecutor of this during the criminal proceedings. The criminal investigation authority provides further information on the matter.