Domestic Violence or Child Abuse protocol

Utrecht University (UU) has drawn up a reporting code that students and staff can use if they become aware of any signs that students, children or staff are dealing with domestic violence or child abuse. This concerns suspected physical violence, as well as suspected psychological and sexual violence and suspected neglect. 

Assessment framework for children and students

Do you suspect that a Utrecht University student is involved in domestic violence or child abuse? Or do you have those suspicions about a child participating in an activity organised by Utrecht University? (For example the Junior Summer School.) In that case follow the step-by-step plan below.

  1. First off, write down for yourself which signs you observed and what your suspicions are based upon.
  2. Then get in touch with a student counsellor ( or student psychologist ( to discuss the situation.
  3. Devise a plan of action together, and consider involving the Utrecht organisation for advice, help and support concerning domestic violence and child abuse, Veilig Thuis Utrecht (in Dutch). This can be done anonymously.
  4. Invite the student in order to discuss the matter.
  5. Has your suspicion of abuse or violence been confirmed during your conversation with the student? In that case, you need to ask yourself the following questions:
    1. Is this a case involving acute and/or structural danger? If so, it should preferably be reported to Veilig Thuis Utrecht (in Dutch), although this is not required. The report can be made anonymously.
    2. Could UU itself provide or arrange for help? Discuss the possibilities with the student counsellor ( or student psychologist (
      If it is not possible for UU to provide assistance, then the situation must be reported to Veilig Thuis Utrecht (in Dutch).


Domestic violence is understood to mean:

Physical, mental or sexual violence, or threats thereof, by someone in the domestic circle, i.e. in or closely connected to the home. Violence is understood to mean: the physical, sexual, psychological or economical degradation of the personal integrity of the victim. This includes elderly abuse, abuse of parents, female genital mutilation, forced marriage and 'honour'-related violence. The domestic circle of the victim includes family members, household members, a spouse or former spouse, a partner or ex-partner, and informal carers.

Child abuse is understood to mean:

Every form of threatening or violent interaction with a minor of a physical, psychological or sexual nature, which is forced upon the minor, either actively or passively, by the parents or other individuals with whom the minor has a relationship characterised by dependency or lack of freedom, which causes serious damage, or threatens to cause serious damage to the minor in the form of physical or psychological injury. This also includes 'honour'-related violence, forced marriage, female genital mutilation and bearing witness (as a minor) to domestic violence between parents and/or other household members.

More information

If you would like to learn more about the reporting code and the assessment framework, please consult the Information from the Dutch Government. If you have any questions regarding the introduction of the reporting code, please get in touch with For any questions concerning a specific situation, please consult the reporting code and the step-by-step plan.