Right to specific protection measures

In cases of domestic violence (or forced marriage), an emergency protection order can be issued by the family court judge to protect the victim if the alleged violence is deemed likely and constituting a danger to them and their children.
It can be issued without the need for a complaint to be filed, whether or not the perpetrator has been convicted, and whether or not the victim and the perpetrator have been living together.

The judge may use this order to pronounce:

  • A ban on contact with the victim,
  • A ban on visiting certain designated places,
  • A ban for the perpetrator on owning or carrying a weapon,
  • Health, social or psychological care,
  • A ban on the perpetrator of the violence to come within a certain distance of the victim, together with the obligation to wear an electronic GPS monitoring device (ankle tag),
  • Measures on the couple’s residence (allocation of the dwelling to the victim in principle),
  • The possibility for the victim to conceal their address,
  • A provisional admission to legal aid (which can be requested by the victim to cover the costs of the proceedings).

The protection order may also lay down measures relating to the exercise of parental authority, in particular with regard to visiting and accommodation arrangements, and decide on the amount of maintenance.

In addition, victims (of domestic violence or rape) at particular risk of violence may also be issued with a Serious Danger Telephone.

This is a warning device (mobile phone) allocated to the victim which, when triggered, allows the law enforcement agencies to attend quickly and as a priority.
When allocated this device, the victim will also be given personalised support (legal and psychological follow-up, rehousing, employment, etc.) to help secure their situation on a long-term basis.

The ankle tag is an electronic device introduced following the law of 28 December 2019, which stops two people coming too close to each other: the person under surveillance (wearing the ankle tag) and the protected person (who carries a smart device, a bit like a telephone). As a protection tool for the victim, it allows for immediate intervention when the person under surveillance gets within a certain distance of the person being protected.

The association gives the device to the victim, helps them set it up, and explains how it works. The victim is protected as soon as the device is handed over.
The association also provides legal, social, and psychological support for victims of domestic violence.

In turn, the Prison Integration and Probation Service is responsible for fitting the ankle tag, testing it, and explaining the device to the offender.

The ankle tag is removed at the end of the period specified by the judge.
The protected person may ask for amendments to the protection measure by contacting the judge who ordered it or who is responsible for its monitoring.

I was a victim of a criminal offence: consequences and reactions The rights of victims of a criminal offence Criminal proceedings Who is who in criminal proceedings

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