Tackling domestic violence

The government wants to tackle and prevent domestic abuse. Measures include public information campaigns, domestic exclusion orders and protection for victims.

Public information campaigns to prevent violence

Public information campaigns can help prevent violence. In recent campaigns (in Dutch) the government has urged domestic violence victims and offenders as well as those who are close to them to get help and advice.

Stopping domestic violence and protecting victims

Victims at serious risk of domestic violence need to be able to go to a safe place. Offenders can be subjected to a domestic exclusion order to stop the violence.

If necessary, special measures can be added to the standard response to domestic violence, for example in cases of child abuse and senior abuse.

Recognising and reporting domestic violence

Doctors, nurses and other professionals may encounter victims of domestic violence. The domestic violence and child abuse protocol explains the five steps professionals should take if they suspect domestic violence or child abuse.

The municipality’s role in combating domestic violence

Central government and municipalities work together to combat domestic violence. Under the Social Support Act, municipalities are responsible for women’s shelters and the Veilig Thuis (‘Safe at Home’) domestic violence advice and reporting centres. In their efforts to combat domestic violence, municipalities work closely with other sectors, including mental health services, the probation service, youth care, the police and the Public Prosecution Service.

Help for municipalities: guidelines on preventing domestic violence

The Ministry of Security and Justice has drawn up guidelines on preventing domestic violence (in Dutch only) describing how municipalities can address the problem.

Veilig Thuis (Safe at Home): combating domestic violence and child abuse

Since 1 January 2015, municipalities are responsible for combating domestic violence and child abuse. The Advice and Reporting Centres for Child Abuse and the Neglect and Domestic Violence Advice and Support Centres merged to form a new organisation, called Veilig Thuis, in order to better align the responses to domestic violence and child abuse. 

The Association of Netherlands Municipalities (VNG) has drawn up a Manual on domestic violence and child abuse. The manual sets out the steps that need to be taken to ensure a cohesive strategy on domestic violence and child abuse, and the knowledge, approach and skills required.