If you think you are exposed to violence or at risk of violence, you can contact various agencies and organizations to complain or to ask for protection, regardless of the perpetuator of violence (spouse, lover, police, doctor, humanitarian worker, or other).
If you are suffering from violence, or you are witnessing someone who is suffering from violence, you can contact the following authorities:
– Governors’ Offices and District Governors’ Offices;
– Police Stations;
– Gendarmerie Stations;
– Public Prosecutor’s Offices or Family Courts;
– Provincial Directorates of Family and Social Policies ;
– Violence Prevention and Monitoring Centers;
– Emergency Health Services;
– Bar Associations;
– Professional Healthcare Organizations;
– Non-governmental Organizations working on women, children, or young people
According to the Turkish legislation, no fees for such services can be charged. Therefore, all services in the above-mentioned agencies and organizations are free of charge.
In case of an emergency situation and in case you cannot reach the relevant service providersdirectly, you can also call the following emergency hotlines:
– Call 155 for Police Support
– Call 156 for Gendarmerie Support
– Call 183 for Social Service Support
– Call 144 for Social Assistance
– Call 112 for all kinds of Emergencies
– Call 187 for the Support Line Against Human Trafficking
When you are exposed to violence:
– Tell the personnel at the police or gendarmerie stations what you have experienced and ask them to keep a record. In some cases, if such a report is intentionally missed by the personnel or if the personnel does not want to share it with you, please request and insist on it. Do not sign the file before having read it and keep a copy of the file you sign.
– You must be referred to a hospital to obtain a medical report of the assault. If no referral is done, ask to be referred to a hospital in order to get a medical report of the assault before the police/gendarmerie report is made.
– The police staff or gendarmes do not have the right to enter a doctor’s office. Ask your doctor for support in case this rule is violated.
– According to the Turkish Code of Criminal Procedure (CCP), you have the right to be assisted by a lawyer. You can request that while being at the police or the gendarmerie station. You do not have to give your testimony before the lawyer arrives. You are allowed to wait for the lawyer before giving your witness´ statement and before signing any report.
– Apart from the CCP, you can also ask for legal support from bar associations and non-governmental organizations.
– The victim and the perpetrator shall never be kept in the same place. If this is the case, talk about your discomfort with the police and the gendarmerie and remind them of their responsibility not to keep you in the same place.
– If you are exposed to violence by the police and the gendarmerie, you can go directly to the prosecutor’s office to file a complaint.
– Although there is no time limit for obtaining the medical report, you shall go to the emergency services of the nearest hospital as soon as possible. Tell the doctor about the events you have experienced. You should be examined as soon as possible. It is important to report the incidences and to have a medical examination before the marks on your body will disappear.
– Sexual and physical violence can often only be documented with a medical report. Therefore, any kind of fingerprints, hair, rash, infected blood or body fluids can be used as evidence of GBV for the medical report. For this reason, don’t change your clothes, don’t take a shower, and don’t use makeup before going to the emergency services.
– If you are not confident to file a complaint, you can still get a medical report and talk to your doctor so that the judicial process will not be started right away.
– If you do not feel ready to go to a hospital, you can take photos of the traces of violence before they are lost. Make sure that the photographs are taken in a way that proofs that the scars are yours and make sure that the date when the photography was taken is visible.
– After having experienced any violent event, especially after encountering violence by the police, gendarmerie and health personnel, you can go to the prosecutor’s office in your area and file a complaint. Be sure to keep a copy of the complaint you signed for yourself.
– If you file a complaint, do not forget to add your medical report or any other evidence of the incidence.
– Following the complaint, an inquiry will be initiated and if necessary, an indictment will be prepared and a lawsuit will be filed. Therefore, please provide the address where you will be residing and reachable so that you can be contacted for future notices.
– If you think you will encounter difficulties during these processes, you should get the support of a lawyer. If you do not have the money for a lawyer, you can get free legal counseling and the support of a lawyer by contacting bar associations or NGOs.
– You can contact the emergency services of the hospital for urgent medical assistance.
– After the exposure to sexual violence, you should be treated in order to obtain health reports as well as for improving your health condition if needed. You may go to the emergency units of hospitals or primary health care facilities for a treatment.
– Following a sexual abuse, there are risks of unwanted pregnancies and sexually transmitted infections.
To reduce the risk of unwanted pregnancies:
- You can use the morning-after pill . You can avoid a pregnancy by using the morning-after pill that you can obtain from pharmacies. You have to take it within the first 72 hours after the incidence has occurred. The morning-after pill is most effective when taken early after the incidence. However, if taken too late, it might not prevent the pregnancy.
- You can ask the health care personnel for acopper intrauterine device (IUD). IUDs are a reliable emergency intervention for risky situations as they are generally used as a contraception method. IUDs have a preventive effect of pregnancies since they can be used as a contraceptive method even up to 5 days after the unprotected intercourse.
To reduce the risk of sexually transmitted infections :
- You should have a screening test at a healthcare institution to see whether you are infected with a sexually transmitted infection.
- PEP should be used in emergency situations as a post-exposure treatment and must be started within 72 hours after the possible exposure to HIV.
- PEP treatment takes 28 days in total. It must be observed and followed-up by an expert physician.