Regardless of whether the crime took place at home or in the street, it is important to immediately inform the police about the incident and preserve the scene and evidence as intact as possible. The fastest help is provided by the Police and Border Guard Board, and the Rescue Board. Crime victims can receive help from the specialists of the Victim Support Department of the National Social Insurance Board, and employees of local authorities.
Criminal acts can be reported:
- by calling the alarm centre at 112
- by going to the closest police authority.
National victim support service
National victim support centres are located in all major cities and free consultation is provided there. All people can approach victim support centres if they have been victims to a crime or experienced violence, neglect, or mistreatment.
Employees of the victim support service support and provide help even if the causer of physical, mental, or sexual violence is unknown. Employees of the victim support service provide emotional support, share information about the possibilities of getting help, and guide in communicating with other necessary authorities.
It is also possible to remain anonymous upon approaching victim support centres. However, applying for compensations and services requires submitting your personal data. Victim support centres ensure confidentiality to the people that approach them.
Compensation of psychological support
The victim and their family can go to a psychological counselling. To receive compensation of psychological support, a meeting must take place with an employee of the victim support service, who shall then prepare an application. A certification from the police is also required (an employee of the victim support service will help with this) to confirm that proceedings have been initiated. The compensation of psychological support per each person is the minimum monthly wage (in 2018, 500 euros). With the person’s consent, the National Social Insurance Board shall directly pay to the service provider for the provided service on the basis of an invoice.
A crime victim is entitled to participate in a conciliation procedure. For this, a second-degree crime must have been committed and the public must not have great interest in it. The victim and the causer of the damage must voluntarily agree to participate in the conciliation procedure. A prosecutor or a judge shall direct them to the conciliation service and the conciliation procedure shall be carried out by the specialists of the Victim Support Department of the National Social Insurance Board.
The execution of the conciliation procedure mainly considers the interests of the victim. The purpose of the conciliation procedure is to reach an agreement for a conciliation between the parties and regarding the compensation of damages caused by the perpetrator to the victim. For this, a written conciliation agreement shall be concluded between the parties. The perpetrator shall undertake obligations to compensate for the act, and a conciliator shall monitor their fulfilment.
Services for victims of human trafficking, sexually abused minors, and unaccompanied under-aged foreigners
Victims of human trafficking, sexually abused minors, and unaccompanied under-aged foreigners are entitled to, in addition to counselling services, psychological support, and assist in communicating with state and local government facilities and with legal persons, other services as well: safe accommodation, health services, translation services, and other services necessary for their physical and psychological recovery. These services are available until no longer necessary if criminal proceedings have been initiated on the basis of sections of the Penal Code regarding human trafficking or sexual abuse.
The services are also entitled to persons who are suspected of having fallen victim to human trafficking or being sexually abused as a minor, if a respective report of criminal offence has been forwarded to the police or a prosecuting authority. An adult who was sexually abused as a minor is entitled to apply for a compensation for the cost of psychological support within three years after they come of age, unless the criminal motive was revealed earlier.
Women’s support centre service
Women’s support centres (shelters) accept women and their children who have suffered from violence and the centres are located in each county. Support centres offer a safe environment and counselling for the women and, if necessary, temporary accommodation as well.
Paying compensation to crime victims
The state pays victim support compensation to people who have fallen victim to a serious crime. If the victim has died due to a serious offence, victim support compensation is paid to their dependants. A fixed amount of the costs of the funeral of the crime victim shall be reimbursed to the person who actually paid the costs. More information about the amount of the crime victim compensation, the conditions for its granting, and the necessary documents can be found from the homepage of the National Social Insurance Board.
The State Portal eesti.ee does not provide legal assistance, European e-Justice portal provides information on justice systems.