Violence in the family and rape

Women, men, girls and boys alike have the right to say no to all kinds of violence. Violence can be physical, psychological and sexual. The person being subjected to violence is often closely related to the person committing the violence. Violence in the family is a criminal offence, which you have the right to report to the police. In Denmark, it is illegal to beat children. Rape is punishable by law. The person who is raped is never to blame.

Violence is illegal in Denmark and you must seek help to escape the violence, both for your own sake and for that of your children. Violence and sexual abuse are criminal acts that are punishable by law. You have the right to report abuse.

There are different kinds of violence to which both men and women can be subjected:

  • Physical violence; e.g. hitting and strangulation.
  • Psychological violence; e.g. being checked up on, put down, limited or threatened with violence.
  • Sexual violence; e.g. if you have been raped by your partner.
  • Material violence; e.g. if your clothes and possessions are ruined on purpose.
  • Financial violence; e.g. if someone else decides over your finances without your consent.

There are crisis centres for women all over the country. You can stay at a crisis centre for a while if you have been subjected to violence or threats of violence. You can stay there with your children. There are a number of other types of crisis centres that cater for other victims of violence, i.e. for men and families who have been subjected to violence, along with couples and single men who have been subjected to honour-related violence.

If you have been subjected to rape or attempted rape, or a person you know has repeatedly forced you to have sex, you can contact the nearest centre for rape victims (Center for Voldtægtsofre). It is also considered rape if your spouse forces you to have sex against your will.

If you have been subjected to rape or attempted rape, it is important to get help.


LOKK - the national organisation of crisis centres for women in Denmark

If you are subjected to violence by someone in your family, you can seek help from LOKK or at a women's crisis centre. You can live in safety in the crisis centre for a prolonged period of time. If you suspect that a close friend or someone in your family is being subjected to violence, you can also call LOKK's hotline and receive guidance on how to help. LOKK offers legal guidance about divorce, residence permit and the social rights of women who have been reunified with their family and then subjected to violence within the family.

You can call LOKK's hotline anonymously if you need advice and guidance.

24-hour hotline: 70 20 30 82

Information in English is also available at

If you are a young person from an ethnic minority background, you can seek help from LOKK's counselling team (in Danish only)

Crisis centres for men

There are also crisis centres for men, where a man can live if he has been subjected to physical or psychological violence by his wife or his family.

RED-Safehouse offers crisis centre facilities to single youths of both genders and to young couples who are subjected to honour-related violence by their families.

Centre for rape victims

There is a centre for rape victims is located in each of Denmark's regions.


Rights and duties

Both women and men have the right to decide over their own bodies. You have the right to say no to sex with your husband or your wife.

It is illegal and punishable by law to submit adults and children to physical, psychological or sexual violence. You have the right to report violence to the police.
It is illegal to force someone to have sex. If you have been raped, you should go to the police immediately.

You can seek help around the clock at crisis centres all over Denmark. You have the right to live at a crisis centre for women with your children.
You are entitled to receive help from your municipality if you have been subjected to violence in your family.

You have the right to say "no" to sex - and it is your right that your "no" is respected. A "no" to sex must be respected, even if it has not been said from the beginning. Non-consensual sex is rape.


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