Violence has no place anywhere: tackling domestic violence 2018-’21

Every case of domestic violence, child abuse or elder abuse is one too many. Violence has no place, especially in your own home. Home is a place where you should feel safe. Children must be able to grow up safely, and adults and the elderly must also be safe there. That is why the ‘Violence has no place’ program has been developed in the Netherlands, because there are many people who experience domestic violence or child abuse. Municipalities have been busy implementing the program since 2019. With the program they want to limit the damage caused by domestic violence and child abuse and reduce violence.

Domestic violence

Domestic violence differs from other forms of violence because in domestic violence the victim and perpetrator have a relationship with each other, such as partners, brother and sister, parent and child, uncle and cousin, and all other types of relationships. Domestic violence is not tied to a culture or a certain layer of society, it occurs at all levels. Child abuse and elder abuse are forms of domestic violence, in which a child is abused in the first case and an elderly person in the second. The violence does not always have to be physical, it can also be emotional, financial or there can be neglect.


The consequences of domestic violence and child abuse are enormous and often continue throughout a person’s life. If you have been abused, in addition to physical consequences, you may also experience psychological and social consequences. Such as difficulty entering into new relationships or extremely low self-confidence. If children have been abused, they have a greater chance of committing violence themselves, for example against their own children later. In this way the violence is passed on. Not only the person himself, but also society experiences the consequences of domestic violence, such as dropping out of school, increased healthcare and support costs and benefits costs because someone is unable to work or is unable to work at all.

Why was the program necessary?

Domestic violence is more common than all other forms of violence. You have the greatest chance of violence at home, a greater chance than on the street. Before the Netherlands started working on the program, it had not yet been sufficiently successful in reducing domestic violence and child abuse. The cooperation between various parties such as the government, municipalities, professionals, police, justice and schools was still insufficient. For example, it was sometimes unclear which partner would take on which role, such as who noticed and reported the violence, who was involved with the person and the family, etc. Many cases of domestic violence and child abuse had not yet been sufficiently noticed, and too often the violence was still passed on to the next generation. The program was therefore necessary to work better together and to work together on a good and effective approach. The program offers a shared starting point, direction and goal.

How is the program implemented?

The program will be implemented throughout the Netherlands from 2018 until at least 2021. This happens at a regional level. Municipalities in a region jointly drew up an action plan for their region in 2018 and will implement it regionally and locally in 2019 and beyond. They do this in collaboration with all regional partners such as healthcare providers, Veilig Thuis, police, doctors and schools. Experienced experts also contribute. The approach to domestic violence and child abuse has therefore taken shape in collaboration between professionals and organizations in the region. For example, by setting up a project group with working groups that focus on improvement opportunities for the region. Consider making relevant data and figures about domestic violence and child abuse more available in the region, implementing a communication approach to make domestic violence and child abuse more open to discussion, introducing a suitable consultation structure with the various stakeholders and developing and implementing a new working method. that is aimed at the family and other involved parties and not just at the victim and/or perpetrator.

What do municipalities want to achieve by implementing the program?

The program mentions the following ambitions:

  • Reducing domestic violence and child abuse. Limiting the adverse effects of violence and ensuring that violence is not passed on to the next generation.
  • Identify domestic violence and child abuse earlier and better. If there is a suspicion, something must be done about this suspicion so that we can work as quickly as possible to reduce the violence and limit the consequences. Even when in doubt, we get to work.
  • Making domestic violence and child abuse more open to discussion so that victims or other involved parties can ask for help more quickly and easily to break the situation. The perpetrator must also be able to ask for help. Everyone in the Netherlands can contribute to this by discussing what good relationships are and what good parenting is.
  • Better cooperation and the right help for victims, while the perpetrators also receive the right approach. The victims must be safe.
  • No one who experiences domestic violence or child abuse falls through the cracks. This means that professionals work well together around a family and make agreements with each other about who does what and what they want to achieve and when. The professionals and other stakeholders are supported in this by their organizations.


Three lines of action

Three lines of action have been developed to achieve the ambitions. In implementation, the regions and municipalities use these three lines of action as a guideline for their regional and local approach to domestic violence and child abuse.

  1. Earlier and better insight: the duration and severity of violence can be shortened and reduced by having an earlier and better overview of the violence. With timely information, the victim and others involved can be helped better.
  2. Stop and solve sustainably: violence is stopped as quickly as possible. All professionals work together broadly in providing assistance, with a long-term safe situation as the starting point. The entire family and those involved are central, not just the victim. The perpetrators of violence receive the right approach.
  3. Specific groups: extra attention and action is needed for a number of specific target groups, such as the elderly.



The intention is that the ambitions of the program will actually be achieved. The program therefore identifies a number of indicators. If the indicators are measured, it can be seen whether the program is achieving the desired results. Indicators include, for example, the duration of the violence until the first report, or the presence of a care plan aimed at removing the risk factors of insecurity. In regional and local implementation, these indicators are measured and used for further improvement in the approach to domestic violence and child abuse.

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