Do you feel unsafe in your relationship?
Do you have any questions?
Do you want to talk to someone?
There is someone who listens to you.

Do not sit with it. A listening ear can support you by looking for a solution together.
For more information, you can call a listening ear in your language, it’s anonymous and confidential. :

Do you feel unsafe in your relationship?

  • Your partner checks what you do, checks your clothes, your mobile phone, your social media, your contacts, ...
  • You cannot see or speak to your family or friends whenever you want ... You feel completely alone.
  • You cannot leave or come home whenever you want.
  • You are not allowed to work, you do not attend any language courses or training.
  • There’s no-one who listens to you and you cannot decide on matters that concern you or your children.
  • Your partner claims that your papers and children will be taken away.
  • You are not allowed to use your own bank card or money as you wish.
  • You are not allowed to start a relationship with the person of your choice.
  • You are beaten.
  • You are forced to have sexual relations.
  • You are touched against your will and you have nowhere to go.
  • You are not allowed to use contraceptives or birth control.
  • You feel hurt.
  • Your self-confidence is lost.
  • You feel humiliated.
  • You are locked up or detained.
  • (..)

These are examples of physical, sexual, financial, psychological and emotional violence. You are often afraid and your health and that of your children suffer. You need someone to talk to.

There are different ways to improve your situation:

  • You can look up some information, you can call someone, you can go somewhere, ...
  • You have the right to seek the help that suits you, and when it suits you.
  • Nobody can make you take steps you don’t want to.

There are people who will listen to you. Together, you’ll look for a solution or some kind of help. You can contact us anonymously:

You can also contact this number if you should have any questions concerning your children. You have the right to see your children, no one can deny you this right.

You want to know what you can do.

To make a decision about your situation, it is important to know what your options are and to know your rights. A listening ear in your language can give you plenty of information about your options and they can suggest possible solutions by telephone, anonymously and without any obligation.

You can also look up information yourself. You’ll find the most important services and information in Dutch / French below.

What can you do?

Where can you go?

Call a listening ear in your own language:

Do not hesitate to contact a listening ear in your language, it’s completely anonymous and confidential. You are not alone, someone will listen to you

Social assistance and general information

Call or e-mail 1712 (Dutch) if you have any about violence. A telephone call to 1712 is free and is not mentioned on your billing document. More information is available at www.1712.be If you have any questions concerning help, psycho-social support, legal advice, etc. you can also contact 0800 30 030 (French) or www.ecouteviolencesconjugales.be

Call, e-mail or visit a Centre for General Welfare Work (CAW). The CAW listens to your story and they will look for a sollution together with you. Contacting the CAW is free and can be done anonymously. You can find CAW’s throughout Flanders (the Dutch-speaking part of Belgium). Visit www.caw.be for more information about the CAW’s or call 078 150 300..

The Public Centre for Social Welfare (OCMW). Every municipality or city has its own OCMW that offers a wide range of services. If you want to call on social assistance, you can go to the OCMW of your municipality. More info can be found on www.belgium.be/nl/familie/sociale_steun/ocmw

To find help or support in your neighbourhood, visit www.desocialekaart.be

Women’s shelters

You can get the contact details of various women’s shelters and ambulatory and female support by calling 1712, (Monday to Friday from 9 am to 5 pm). Or, go to a CAW. More info can be found on www.caw.be (Dutch) or via www.ecouteviolencesconjugales.be\maisons.php 0800 30 030 (French)

Legal information

You can ask a lawyer for legal advice and legal assistance. The first advice is always free of charge. If you don’t have the financial means to pay for this assistance, you are entitled to a pro-bono lawyer. You can find more information about legal assistance and lawyers here:

Information about your residence status

Victims of intimate partner violence must be protected, even if they are in Belgium in the context of family reunification. Check which steps you or your immigration lawyer can take to protect you, and what the consequences may be for your residence status in Belgium. More info can be found on www.cire.be. Contact: +32 (0)2 629 77 10

For more information about lawyers, residence documents, immigration law and international family law (For example, if you or your partner have a foreign passport or do not have a permanent residence visa)visit www.integratie-inburgering.be/juridische-dienstverlening (Dutch)or call their helpdesk: +32 (0)2 205 00 55. More information can also be found here: www.agii.be/thema/vreemdelingenrecht-internationaal-privaatrecht or www.progresslaw.net

Police and medical help

Go see a doctor or go to the hospital each time a case of violence occurs, and ask your doctor to keep your dossier up to date. Your doctor has specific instructions to deal with victims of partner violence, in absolute confidentiality.

More information about your local police zone can be found on www.politie.be/nl

In case of emergency, call the police via 101. The police are obliged to help you. If you need urgent medical help, call the emergency number 112 immediately.

For general information

Information about partner violence:

Partner violence is punishable by law.

Partner violence is punishable by law. If you (now or later) want to file a complaint with the police, we can give you some advice:

  • Bring your doctor’s certificates or your hospital's medical records.
  • Take photocopies or photos of all the supporting documents you have: certificates, certificates (eg from the doctor), letters, photos, etc. Keep the originals carefully or ask your doctor to keep the originals for you.
  • Read your statement carefully before you sign it. Take your time for this and if there is a passage that you do not find good or unclear, let it adjust.
  • Request a copy of your statement, the number of the official report and the name of the person who registered the complaint. The collection of these data can also be used if you later decide to lodge a complaint, to separate or to live separately.

If you want to find a safe accommodation:

  • Remember to prepare all important documents (for yourself and your children): ID cards, child allowance number, if you are married: marriage certificate and copy of the marriage contract, if you live together: purchase receipts for items that belong to you personally or both of you as a couple (invoices, account statements), medical certificates of blows injuries.
  • If possible: put money aside to rent something or to pay transport to friends / acquaintances. Announce your arrival in advance.
  • Put small bags of clothes and stuff ready with your neighbor or a different figure of trust in case you should leave urgently.
  • Arrange personal belongings that you are attached to: (emotionally) valuable items, jewelery ...
  • If you have a personal car: put in material that you can use to feel safe.
  • In case of a divorce, take pictures of the rooms of the house, furniture ...
  • When you leave: sign up against any proxies from your partner on your bank accounts.
  • Ask De Post / La Poste to forward your correspondence or ask for your correspondence to be stored at De Post / La Poste. The Post / La Poste will not release your new address.

Source: www.vzwzijn.be/upload/docs/ZIJN_folder2_slachtoffervanpartnergeweld.pdf