F.A.Q. - COVID19 and Domestic Violence

Is domestic violence increasing during the COVID19 crisis?

With the confinement imposed by the COVID19 crisis, families and couples are being forced to live in a state of constant closeness, which may be unusual or difficult for them. This can lead to an increased risk of conflict and violent behaviour, as well as the escalation or recurrence of existing conflicts and domestic violence (both familial and marital). Recent studies have shown that confinement can indeed cause tensions within families and relationships, which can escalate into psychological, physical and sexual violence.

Violence in all its forms and facets is not acceptable and will never be tolerated. It is therefore vital to ensure that all victims (women, men and children) and as well as all perpetrators (men and women) have access to help and assistance during this period of crisis.

Will the Ministry for Gender Equality and Diversity (MEGA) ensure that support and assistance services for combating domestic violence continue to function?

Victims are not alone. They can still seek help and support from victim support structures and services at any time. Perpetrators and potential perpetrators can also seek assistance at any time from a service specialized in working with perpetrators.

From the beginning of the crisis, MEGA has taken all the necessary steps to ensure that its networks of support services for combating domestic violence and abuse could continue their activities. However, the crisis management measures taken by the government oblige support staff to take certain protective precautions. For this reason, the majority of contacts and consultations are currently taking place via telephone calls, videoconferencing and helplines, the numbers for which can be found online.

Do confinement regulations during the crisis prohibit victims of domestic violence or people at risk of becoming victims of domestic violence from leaving the home?

No, under no circumstances do confinement regulations prohibit a victim of domestic violence or anyone facing a threat or imminent danger from someone he or she lives with or has lived with from fleeing the home or from calling the police and contacting a support service.

Is domestic violence punishable by law?

The crisis has no repealing effect on the law in general or on the 8 September 2003 amended Act on domestic violence in particular. The 8 September 2003 law provides for the expulsion of a perpetrator of domestic violence, and even in this period of crisis, perpetrators are not immune from the pure and simple application of this law.

What is expulsion exactly?

When the police arrive at a domestic household to intervene in a situation of domestic violence, they may find that there are enough indications to presume that the physical integrity of those cohabitating with the perpetrator is in danger or once again in danger. On the basis of the information obtained at the scene, and on the order of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the perpetrator may be expelled from the home for 14 days, a period which may be extended to three months and, if necessary, prohibit the perpetrator from contacting the victim(s), approaching the victim(s) and/or returning to the home.

In cases of imminent danger, where can you go for help?

In cases of imminent domestic violence, where both the caller and those living with the perpetrator in a family setting (e.g. other family members or stepfamilies) are in danger, it is still recommended to call the police at 113.

The mobile phone app of the National Police entails a so-called e-call button which is directly connected to the National Intervention Centre of the Police 113 via mobile phone or SMS. In order to guarantee the security of the calling persons, their position (after agreement) is localised to provide help as quick as possible. For further information, please consult the website https://police.public.lu/fr/application-mobile.html.

And after the police intervention, how will the victim be cared for?

If, after police intervention, an expulsion order is issued, the victim will be cared for by specialized assistance services, namely the  SAVVD service for adult victims and the PSYEA and Alternatives for minor victims. This assistance is automatically provided for by the 8 September 2003 amended Act on domestic violence.

If, after the police intervention, there is no expulsion, the police will provide the parties present in the household with an information sheet on how to respond to the situation and get further help. The sheet provides information about the services that offer care for adult and juvenile victims of direct and indirect domestic violence.

Do the perpetrators of domestic violence receive care as well?

It is essential that the perpetrators are not neglected in this crisis. In the case of an expulsion, the perpetrator is required to report to the service for perpetrators of violence, Riicht Eraus, within 7 days of the expulsion, as stipulated in the above-mentioned law. If the perpetrator does not contact the Riicht Eraus, the Riicht Eraus service will immediately contact all perpetrator(s) of domestic violence concerned and offer help.

What happens to perpetrators who are not expelled?

The Riicht Eraus is available to all perpetrators, whether or not they are expelled from their homes. The service invites anyone who feels pressure, anger, conflict, violence, etc. escalating within their marriage or family or who have exhausted all their communication skills to call in before they act out and become violent. This service is also for people who have been violent in the past.

The information sheet provided by the police also includes information about services for the perpetrator(s) of domestic violence.

What if the victim or perpetrator does not want to call the police? Where can concerned parties get more information about the different options for taking action?

In addition to the above-mentioned services, all potential victims and perpetrators of violence may contact the services offered by the Ministry of Equality between Women and Men at any time to help combat all forms of violence, including domestic violence. Specialized staff (psychologists, social workers, lawyers, criminologists) are available to guide all parties concerned

An exhaustive list of all the support services and structures available can be found at:

Contacts List