How to Get Help for Domestic Violence in the Netherlands
Domestic violence is something we hope no one ever has to go through. For parents in our community who find themselves in an abusive situation, the stress is often compounded by being in a
foreign system and language. Below is a list of compiled essential resources, in conjunction with the recommendations from the Dutch Ministries of Justice and Health.
If you need immediate help, call the police: dial 112. They are authorized to intervene in situations to keep you and
your children safe and secure.
The police are part of emergency services that can respond to situations such as psychological and physical abuse. When they come to your home due to you or your neighbor's call, they
will approach the offender about his/her behavior and discuss what happens next. In some situations, a temporary restraining order is given to the offender. This means that he/she may not enter
the house for a short period of time.
In cases of serious violence, the police can prosecute, in which case the offender will probably be taken to court.
You can also go to the police at any time. They will listen to you and explain what they can do. You can bring charges (via an aangifte police
report), or you can report the incident to be recorded in the police records without pressing charges (an aanmelden police report). If you
do decide to bring charges, they will ask for proof of evidence such as photos of bruises or wounds, medical records, or statements from witnesses.
You can also file anonymously (anoniem melden) through Meld Misdaad Anoniem: tel.0800-7000 (weekdays:
8:00-24:00; weekend: 9:00-17:00).
Find Resources and Support
Protect yourself by asking for information and assistance from professional help workers and organizations, so you are able to make the right decision for yourself and your
children. Inform your general practitioner (huisarts) of your situation, and when possible ask for a referral to your local social work team (sociaalwijkteam) or the domestic abuse helpline Veiligthuis.
To talk to someone about domestic violence (websites are in Dutch and English) you can contact:
For violent partners or family members, there is a program for behavioral change where he/she can learn to control their aggression.
In some cases, the victims of domestic violence find that once their partner joins such a group, the violence at home decreases. Addresses of such therapy and self-help groups are available
from Veiligthuis, Blijf Groep, social workers, and women’s centres.