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Government Support: Finland

Government Assistance to Victims

The government assistance to victims of crime is coordinated by the Ministry of Justice, the Ministry of Social Affairs and Health and the Ministry of the Interior together with the Police of Finland. Victims of crime, including victims of terrorism, are provided legal aid, compensation, social and health support and interpretation.

Victims of a crime may be eligible for compensation paid from State funds for injury or damage caused by a criminal offence, such as medical costs, loss of income and personal property damaged in connection with the injury in accordance with the Act on Compensation for Crime Damage and the Tort Liability Act.

Legal Resources available to Victims

Legal aid is given at the expense of the State to a person who needs expert assistance in a legal matter and who for lack of means cannot pay the expenses of having the matter dealt with, as provided for in the Legal Aid Act. Legal aid covers the provision of legal advice, the necessary measures and representation before a court of law and another authority, and the waiver of certain expenses of the consideration of the matter.

In the criminal procedures persons whose rights have been infringed have the right to endorse a charge brought by the public prosecutor or another party and present new circumstances in support of the charge as well as lodge an appeal against a decision made in the case.

Collaboration with other Organisations

Victims of crime are supported by non-governmental organisations such as Victim Support Finland which is a nation-wide organisation founded in 199, it is run by six Finnish organisations. It receives also State financial aid. Victim Support Finland offers practical advice and support to victims of crime, their close ones as well as for those who have witnessed a crime by maintaining helplines and social media services, giving legal advice, providing an online support service called Rikunet, accompanying victims when attending police hearings or court sessions as well as assisting in filing for a restraining order or applying for compensation. Victim Support Finland is a member organisation of Victim Support Europe.

At the international level Finland participates in the efforts made by the EU, the UN and other international organisations in order to strengthen the support of the victims of crimes and particularly of terrorism.