Luxembourgish Policy on Domestic Violence

The law of September, 8th 2003 was modified by the law of 30th July 2013. It authorizes the police to evict the violent partner from the common residence, regardless of the ownership thereof, for an initial duration of 14 days. The decision to evict is taken by the public prosecutor on the basis of a factual report filed by the police. There is no need for the victim to file a complaint, as the authorities have the right of initiative and may even proceed against the express wish of the victim. This right of initiative helps to prevent undue psychological pressure against the victim.

During the period of eviction, the evicted person may not enter the common residence, except if accompanied by police and only in order to collect personal necessities. A part from this, it is a criminal offence for the evicted person to get back to the common residence even with the consent of the victim. The court may extend the period of eviction, by summary judgment, to a maximum period of 3 months. The evicted person has a right to appeal. That right does not suspend the eviction.

At the same time as the person is being evicted, the police will contact public and/or private help organizations which will immediately contact the victim in order to supply psychological support and give general advice. The police will also contact public and/or private help organisation for the evicted person. The evicted person must contact this organisation in order to get a treatment.

At the time of promulgation of the law, the Ministry for equal opportunities (Ministre de lEgalit des Chances) in partnership with the police organized a large information campaign.

As a result of this information campaign and of the law, the number of domestic violence cases recorded by the police has been increasing steadily over the last few years. Likewise the number of cases where the public prosecutor together with the police has been able to prevent further harm to mistreated persons by evicting the violent partner and supplying support to both partners has been increasing at the same rate.

In summary, the law clearly allows the police to prevent further harm by evicting a violent partner before unrecoverable harm is done. The victim as well as the offender receive fast and effective help, as well as psychological support.

Improvements claimed by the Police have been introduced with the new law: possibility to force the offender to hand over his keys to the police, contact prohibited between the offender and the victim.

The police has taken other preventive initiatives against violence in general and domestic violence in specific. There is for instance a child-help hotline (Bobby) that can be called by the child in case it is victim to violence (with or without sexual abuse). The Luxembourg police has also bought the German program Faustlos (Without Fists), which is meant to teach Kindergarten-age children to solve conflicts without resorting to violence.

Contact details:
Police Grand-Ducale, Direction régionale de Luxembourg, Mrs. Kristin Schmit - kristin.schmit@police.etat.lu