Living in Finland


Kunniaan liittyvä väkivalta
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Honour related violence

Honour violence (kunniaväkivalta) occurs within families or communities and can entail violence committed in defence of honour.

Honour-related violence can be physical or mental. Examples of honour 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.

Honour-related violence derives from the thought that the honour of a family or community has been violated. The purpose of violence is to restore this honour. The family seeks to maintain face with regard to others, and many relatives can be involved in the honour violence or give it their support.

Honour violence is a crime. According to Finnish law, all violence and threats are regarded as offences, irrespective of the victim’s and offender’s cultural background.

Honour violence can affect women, men and children. In Western countries, honour violence often occurs, for example, when a young girl or woman wishes to live according to Western ways and to leave the cultural conventions of her parents’ home country behind. The family may not always accept this integration into a foreign culture and the adoption of its ways. In extreme cases, this may lead to honour violence.

Where to get help?

If you fall victim to honour violence, contact the police. In emergencies where you need immediate assistance, call the general emergency number 112. In other cases, contact the nearest police station.

If you are subjected to violence or are threatened with violence, you can also seek protection at a shelter (turvakoti). You can live in a shelter temporarily and receive help for coping with what you have experienced. There are shelters in several municipalities: You will find information on these on the website of the Federation of Mother and Child Homes and Shelters (Ensi- ja turvakotien liitto) and your local social office (sosiaalitoimisto).

Help and information is also provided by the Monika Multicultural Women’s Association (Monika-Naiset liitto). The national helpline of Resource Center Monika serves from Mondays to Fridays, 9–16, at 0800 05058. The calls are taken by the Center's crisis workers. The helpline is intended for immigrant women who have experienced violence or threat thereof.

Shelter Mona's phone 045 639 6274 answers on a 24/7 basis. It is intended for women seeking shelter in crisis situations.

The Victim Support Finland’s (Rikosuhripäivystys) support telephone provides services in Finnish, and where possible in English and Swedish, Mon to Tue 1 am to 9 pm and Wed to Fri 5 pm to 9 pm. The telephone number is 116 006.

Information on what to do if you fall victim to violence or crime is available on the Infopankki pages Violence and Crimes.

More information on stopping and preventing violence is available on the Infopankki Violence page .

linkkiMonika – Multicultural Women’s Association:
Aid and support to immigrant womenFinnish | Swedish | English | Russian | Arabic

linkkiFinnish League for Human Rights:
Information on honour violenceFinnish

Contact information for police departmentsFinnish | Swedish | English

linkkiNational Institute for Health and Welfare:
Contact information of sheltersFinnish | Swedish

linkkiVictim Support Finland:
Aid to crime victimsFinnish | Swedish | English