Dutch Policy on Domestic Violence

Domestic violence is one of the major manifestations of violence in our society. Violence in the private sphere occurs on a large scale and it is one of the most extensive forms of violence in Dutch society. Domestic violence accounts for the second highest number of people who died an unnatural death, after road traffic accidents. It occurs across all socio-economic classes and within every culture in Dutch society. The victims of domestic violence are generally women and children, but there is also an impact on men, parents and the elderly.

Government and professional bodies must jointly issue the message that domestic violence is unacceptable, and that it cannot be justified with any excuse whatever. This can be done by means of public campaigns, primary and subordinate legislation and a sufficient system of facilities. The Cabinet is aiming for a system of facilities including the following elements:

  • Local and regional collaborative efforts making binding mutual arrangements and developing a unified approach.
  • Advisory and support centres for domestic violence cases.
  • A directive role for local authorities: their duty is to bring local collaborative partners together, to stimulate them towards making agreements and to make sure that they fulfil those agreements.
  • Women's shelters.
  • Treatment of offenders.
  • National support programs for domestic violence.

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Contact details:
National organisations