Sources of assistance for victims of crime

Social Assistance Centers

Social assistance, provided by municipal or city social welfare centers, is aimed at people who have been victimized by crime, including in cases of domestic violence or human trafficking. There are two forms of support available to those seeking assistance: monetary or non-monetary benefits.

Maintenance Fund

Assistance provided by the alimony fund takes the form of material support through the payment of a monetary amount. It is due to the victims of a crime that involves the offender’s failure to keep up with maintenance payments as defined in Art. 209 of the Penal Code. This type of crime applies when the person obliged to pay alimony fails to meet this obligation for three consecutive periods (usually months) or when the sum of arrears exceeds three times the alimony payment.

Alimony fund benefits are granted on the basis of bailiff’s documents confirming the inability to enforce benefits against the obligated person. The Fund also takes action to punish the perpetrator, but this does not condition the decision to pay the benefit.

Entitlement to maintenance fund benefits is vested in the victim:

The right to benefits expires when an eligible person is placed in an institution providing round-the-clock maintenance or in foster care, as well as when he or she marries.

Maintenance fund benefits are available when the income per person in the family does not exceed PLN 1,209.00. This income is determined on the basis of income from the year preceding the benefit period.

Benefits are paid in the amount of currently established alimony, but not more than PLN 500.00. The application for the benefit is submitted online on the emp@tia portal or in person at the municipality office.

State Compensation

The State Compensation is a one-time financial benefit paid by the State to victims of a crime who have suffered grievous bodily harm, violation of bodily organ functions or disorder of health lasting more than seven days. The family of the deceased victim can also apply for this benefit.

Compensation covers crime-related costs, such as lost wages, medical and rehabilitation costs, and funeral expenses. The amount of the benefit is determined on a case-by-case basis, but cannot exceed PLN 25,000.00, and in the case of the death of the victim – PLN 60,000.00.

The application for compensation shall be filed with the district court with jurisdiction over the place of residence of the entitled person. The benefit shall be paid by the same court within one month after the decision granting the offset becomes final.

Justice Fund

The Justice Fund and the Fund for Victims and Post-Penitentiary Assistance, established in 2012 on the basis of the already existing 1997 Post-Penitentiary Assistance Fund, are an integral part of the system for assisting victims of crime. The 2011 reform, effective January 1, 2012, introduced a catalog of forms of assistance for people affected by crime, established rules for granting them, and led to the establishment of a network of centers for assistance to victims of crime throughout Poland starting in 2019. Currently, there are 47 centers and 258 local points in 16 provinces between 2022 and 2025.

The Victims’ Aid Center offers support to any person suffering from the consequences of a crime, regardless of the documentary evidence of the event. The entire process of reporting a crime and supervising its progress is provided by lawyers working at each Center. A victim can benefit if it has not been 5 years since the crime was committed. For the most serious crimes, such as rape or murder, the time limit can be flexible, tailored to the individual situation and the consequences suffered by the victim.

The type and extent of assistance provided at the Victims’ Assistance Centers depend on the consequences of the crime. For one person it may be psychological support, for another it may be help with legal matters, and for yet another it may be support in reconstructing a life’s work situation. In order to take advantage of the centers’ assistance, it is necessary to apply for assistance, which can be done via the ePUAP platform, in person at a center or local point, as well as through a nationwide hotline – 222 309 900.

At the Victims’ Assistance Center, the First Contact Person, who is the guardian of each client, will provide initial support. After a thorough review of the victim’s situation, the First Contact Person will refer the victim to appropriate specialists, such as a lawyer, psychologist or career counselor. Specialized assistance also includes help from lawyers, psychologists and psychotherapists. In addition, depending on the center, the assistance of a career counselor is available to help identify opportunities for gainful and sustained employment.

If the victim does not speak Polish or has other language limitations, the center will provide support from an appropriate translator or language guide. Interpreters support during the assistance provided to clients by providing ongoing, oral interpretation of the advice given. If necessary, they also translate writings.

In addition, each Victims' Assistance Center provides in-kind assistance, including:

Local points

The centers also run the so-called. Local Points, where the scope of assistance may vary, and details can be obtained from the First Contact Person. The centers operate six days a week, with Local Points on duty twice a week. The centers are adapted to the needs of people with reduced mobility, but local points are not always, so it is worth checking with the First Contact Person. A list of the Centers can be found on the last pages of this paper.


Financed by the Justice Fund, whose Disposer is the Minister of Justice.
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