Skip to content

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health requests comments on discontinuation of mediation in domestic violence cases

Ministry of Social Affairs and Health
Publication date 7.6.2024 15.53 | Published in English on 10.6.2024 at 15.17
Press release

The government proposal for discontinuing mediation in cases of domestic violence has proceeded to the consultation stage. The aim of the proposal is to combat, in particular, violence against women, which is a serious problem in Finland.

In future, mediation could not be used to resolve criminal offences involving violence or certain other offences against the suspect’s family member or other close person. The ban on mediation would not apply to complainant offences. The legislative project was agreed on in the Government Programme. A total of 34 per cent of women and 18 per cent of men have experienced violence from their current or former partner. Only a fraction of domestic violence cases are reported to the authorities. The project was prompted by concerns that, as a result of mediation, perpetrators may get away without being punished, even in cases of repeated violence. 

GREVIO, which is the expert body responsible for monitoring the implementation of the Istanbul Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, has also expressed its concern over mediation in cases involving domestic violence.

Victims of violence may agree to mediation against their own best interests  

In cases of domestic violence, the perpetrator often has power over the victim. Participation in the mediation process should always be voluntary, but it may be difficult to establish whether the victim of domestic violence agrees to the process voluntarily. The objective of mediation is to enable an equal dialogue between the parties. However, this is not necessarily achieved if the suspect holds a position of power over the victim. 

“Domestic violence is a difficult problem in Finland, a stain on gender equality. The fact that violence in intimate partner relationships can be mediated and mediation may result in the perpetrator avoiding punishment underestimates how dangerous and serious domestic violence is,” says Minister of Social Security Sanni Grahn-Laasonen. 

The discontinuation of mediation in cases involving domestic violence would mean that mediation offices would have more resources available for mediation in other criminal matters. Studies show that mediation can prevent recidivism and social exclusion among young people.  

The government proposal concerns the Act on Conciliation in Criminal and Certain Civil Cases, and the amendment would enter into force at the beginning of 2025. The mediation processes which start before the Act’s entry into force could be completed. Comments on the government proposal can be submitted between 7 June and 5 August 2024.

•    Link to (service for online consultation, in Finnish)


Laura Terho, Ministerial Adviser, tel. +358 295 163 550 and email [email protected] (until 20 June 2024)

Jari Keinänen, Director, tel. +358 295 163 311 and email [email protected] (24 June–5 July 2024)

Eemil Nuuttila, Special Adviser to the Minister of Social Security, tel. +358 295 163 534 

Orpon hallitusohjelma Turvallinen ja kriisinkestävä oikeusvaltio