If you are a victim of violence by your partner or ex-partner, you can seek help from emergency services, call 3919, file a complaint, or request a protection order from the judge.

If you witness such violence against an adult or children, you can and should take action, with several options available depending on your situation.

I. I Am a Victim of Domestic Violence: How Can I Protect Myself?

– Call Emergency Services and/or 3919

In immediate danger, call the police/gendarmerie at 17.

For urgent medical needs, call 15.

For support and advice, call 3919 and/or 119 if your children are in danger.

3919 is a free, anonymous, 24/7 helpline accessible to deaf and hard-of-hearing individuals.

It can direct you to professionals who can intervene in your situation.

Depending on the severity, you may be referred to an association offering emergency accommodation.

– File a Complaint

You can file a complaint with the police or gendarmerie, regardless of your location.

It is not recommended to file a simple report (main-courante) as it does not trigger a prosecutor’s investigation.

Consult a lawyer specializing in defending victims of violence to guide you and request a protection order if necessary.

– Consult a Doctor

If you file a complaint, the police/gendarmes will direct you to a specialized doctor for medical certificates, which will be included in your criminal case.

Even without filing a complaint, you can visit a specialized doctor or your regular healthcare provider, who can document your condition and refer you to appropriate professionals.

– Request a Protection Order

In case of danger to you and/or your children, your lawyer can request a judge’s authorization for a hearing with the family court judge.

This request can be against your current or former partner.

The process is urgent; the perpetrator is summoned within 48 hours.

A protection request can be filed even without a prior complaint.

Your lawyer can request a hearing without the perpetrator present, respecting the principle of contradiction.

The judge can impose several measures for your protection, such as:

– Prohibiting contact with the victim.

– Banning the perpetrator from certain places.

– Prohibiting weapon possession.

– Ordering medical, social, or psychological care if agreed upon.

– Implementing an anti-approach mobile device to monitor the perpetrator’s proximity.

– Granting the victim residence rights.

The judge can also make decisions regarding child custody and visitation rights.

Protection orders are valid for six months, extendable if further procedures are initiated.

II. I Am a Witness of Domestic Violence: What Can I Do?

Help the Victim. Support can be psychological, reassuring the victim that they are not alone and can receive help.

Call 3919 for advice on how to assist the victim effectively.

Encourage the victim to call 3919 for guidance or accompany them to a meeting with a specialized lawyer.

For violence against children, call 119 or report to the Department’s Cell for Collection of Concerning Information (CRIP).

The LBV Lawyers’ Office is available to assist you with these steps.