From the beginning of December Victim Support Finland started to use the European helpline number 116 006 for victims of crime. The change was implemented in connection to making the help line services totally free of cost in accordance with the Victims’ Directive.
The 116 006 helpline is open on Mondays and Tuesdays at 13-21 and from Wednesdays to Fridays at 15-21. Volunteers answer in the helpline. In addition to the general help line, Victim Support Finland implements a legal helpline, which is open from Mondays to Thursdays at 17-19. Volunteering lawyers answer this helpline and provide with legal advice.
Moreover, existing on-line chat services of Victim Support Finland are recording increase in number of users.
Victim Support Finland started its on-line chat services in 2012 with the focus on young crime victims. Today the chat service has grown to become one of the main services provided to all victims of crime. Still today, young people are the main users of the service but also adults are using the service in growing numbers. Using chat provides an easy access to services and clients use it to ask concrete questions or to seek comprehensive help. This service can easily be used anonymously but still many clients are willing to be contacted by staff members after been informed of their situation and available support services. In 2016, so far over 1000 chat discussions have been conducted. This shows a clear rise from 2015 (altogether 560 chat discussions). The service is open weekdays at 9–15 and on Monday evenings at 17-19.