- in the event of an urgent emergency call 112
- report an offence as soon as possible.
An act of violence is a crime. Steps must be taken to put an end to violence both at home and in the workplace as well as in schools, care facilities, public facilities or e.g. restaurants and bars. If you witness someone in a life threatening situation or in a serious danger to his or her health, you have a responsibility to help. Neglect of rescue is punishable according to Finnish law.
Violence carried out by a family member or other close person is also punishable by law.
The victim, an eyewitness or any other person, who has heard about or received a tip on violence, may submit a report to the police.
Intervening in or reporting violence can be difficult, as you may fear that you will become the target of violence or revenge. The police are responsible for protecting both the person who reports a case of violence, as well as the victim. You can also get help from the municipality's social welfare authorities and from the staff at organisations such as Victim Support Finland.
Call the emergency number 112 immediately, and describe what has happened or is happening. Act according to the instructions provided by the emergency response centre. If you have a hearing or speech impairment and you are a pre-registered sender of emergency text messages, send a message to 112. You can also ask someone who can hear to call on your behalf.
If you see someone being physically assaulted and think that you can intervene without risking your own safety, try to intervene and calm the situation. If the offender escapes, try to remember what he/she looks like or take a photo of him/her. If possible, immediately take notes on the offender's appearance, vehicle, possible weapons, state of mind, and the direction in which he/she escaped.
Provide first aid or CPR when necessary. Tell the victim that you have called for help. Do not tamper with evidence: do not e.g. clean up any mess left by the crime, but leave everything as it is.
Give your contact details to the police. Be prepared for the possibility that you may be asked to act as a witness in the pre-trial investigation by the police and the possible trial.
If you have a hearing or speech impairment and require a sign language interpreter during the pre-trial investigation or trial, make sure that the police take note of this requirement.
If you need treatment seek medical help immediately. If you are the victim of a sexual offence, do not take a shower, clean up or change your clothing before going to see a doctor. If the offender is a stranger, try to remember any distinguishing features of their appearance or take notes on these immediately.
Do not tamper with evidence: do not clean the area, do not move anything, just leave everything exactly as it was for the criminal investigation. If there were witnesses present, list their names and contact information.
Tell the doctor exactly what caused your injuries, and ask for a medical certificate on the nature of your injuries After visiting a doctor, report the crime to the police by telephone or in person. You can also ask a member of health care personnel or another person to report the crime to the police.
In an emergency, call 112. If you have a hearing or speech impairment and you are a pre-registered sender of emergency text messages, send a message to 112.
If you suspect that a child has been assaulted or, for example, sexually exploited, immediately inform the police or child protection hotline. The cause for suspicion may be physical signs or what the child or someone else has said. A report should be made even if you only suspect something or there is a threat of violence or molestation.
Also submit a child welfare notification, if you know or suspect that domestic violence takes place in a family which has children, or children are being neglected. You can submit a notification anonymously.
Report an offence as soon as possible. A report can be given to the police immediately on the scene, via telephone or by visiting a police station. Minor crimes, such as stolen bicycles, can be reported online.
It is best to report violence and other serious offences personally.
Information needed for reporting an offence:
- a description of what has happened and how
- the specific time and place at which the crime occurred
- the name of the offender, if this is known
- a description of the offender (age, height, body type, distinguishing facial features, eye colour, teeth, speech, hands, movement, clothing)
- which way and how the offender escaped
- if the offender has a vehicle, the vehicle's registration number and other description (brand, colour, model)
- how dangerous the offender is (weapons, state of mind, threats, drug use, etc.)
If you are unable to report the offence yourself, you can ask another person to do so on your behalf. You can also report an offence on someone else's behalf.
When reporting an offence, the description of the offence must be as accurate and detailed as possible; what has happened and who were involved.
If you as a victim of an offence feel unable to visit the police's public premises to report an offence, you can ask that a police officer receive your report in a separate room.