This web page is part of the Guide to the Icelandic justice system for 15-17 year olds who have experienced sexual abuse.

Help after an offence

If the offence occurred recently, it is important to seek treatment and help right away. You can call 112 where you get instructions about the next steps to take or you can go to one of the two emergency rooms for victims of sexual abuse.

At the emergency room for sexual abuse you can also press charges and in that case you don’t have to go to the police station until later, when you give a formal statement.

What does pressing charges for an offence involve?

When you press charges for an offence, police begin to investigate it.

Is it possible to press charges for an offence that happened a long time ago?

Yes, you can press charges later. There is no statute of limitations for offences against children. That means that it is never too late to press charges. However, the longer it has been since the offence, the more difficult it is to collect important data.

To report an offence or press charges for an offence

It is possible to report an offence but not press charges for it. In that case, the report is registered and the case is logged in the police’s case system. In such cases, no investigation is conducted. This is done if the victim is not ready to press charges. Sometimes people change their minds and then it is good for the information to be in the system. The case is then investigated after charges are pressed.

Write down everything you can remember that is connected to the offence on your phone or in a journal.

Individuals who experience serious trauma don’t necessarily remember everything right away but various details can come back to them bit by bit later.

More good advice

Advice from survivors

How do you press charges?

There is more than one way to press charges for a sexual offence. It depends on your situation and how long it’s been since the offence was committed.

  • Those who are under 18 cannot press charges on their own. Your parents or guardians therefore press charges on your behalf.
  • In many cases, it’s child protection services who press charges for offences against children and teenagers, and they have their own process.
  • You can still always contact police for advice on what you can do. The police can start to investigate a case although charges have not been formally pressed.

The offence against you has just happened

You can:

  • Call 112.
  • Go to the emergency room for victims of sexual abuse in Reykjavík or in Akureyri.

Some time has passed since the offence

If more time has passed since the offence you can make an appointment through the police website to press charges. The person who is making the appointment must identify themselves with electronic ID, fill out an electronic form, and send it in:

Make an appointment to press charges

Read more about the reception for pressing charges on the police website.

You can press charges at any police station

You don’t have to press charges for the offence in the same place it happened. You can press charges with police anywhere in the country. Sexual offences are processed in the same way across the whole country. There are nine Police districts in the country.

Special reception for sexual offences in the capital area

At the Hlemmur Police Station in Reykjavík there is a special reception for sexual offences. You can press charges for the offence there, no matter where the offence occurred. It’s best to make an appointment to press charges through the form above. When you are coming to the reception you go in through the west side entrance of the police station (the entrance that is on the left if you stand facing the station).

Pressing charges at the emergency room

The emergency rooms for sexual abuse provide assistance with pressing charges. That is assuming that the offence has occurred within the last three weeks. If a longer time has passed since the offence occurred, you must press charges with police directly.

What happens next?

Appointment for giving a statement

After you have pressed charges for the offence you get an appointment for giving a statement to police. The police call you to find a time and place for you to give your statement. How soon you will be able to go in to give a statement after pressing charges varies but it can be around three weeks. Sometimes the statement is taken in the Children’s House (Barnahús), an agency that supports children who have experienced abuse.

Legal rights protector (ice. réttargæslumaður)

You and your family have the right to the services of a legal rights protector (réttargæslumaður) for free. You and your family can choose a legal rights protector when you go press charges at the police station if you have not gotten one assigned through the emergency room. You can also be assigned a legal rights protector if you want. Legal rights protectors usually meet their clients and go over the main points with them before they go in to give a statement. Your legal rights protector is also with you when you give the statement.

Case number

When the case has been created in the police system and you have been given an appointment to make a statement, the case is assigned a number. That number is sent to your parents or guardians by email. You can use that number when you ask about the status of the case in the police system.

Police information portal

The Police Commissioner of the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police has the information portal You can also find your case number on the section of that website called Mínar síður. This information portal is currently only accessible to sexual abuse survivors in the capital area but authorities are working to provide country-wide access.

The perpetrator knows about the charges

The perpetrator also has to be called in to give a statement to the police. When the police call in the perpetrator to give a statement, that is the first time they are informed that charges have been pressed for the offence.

Information on when the perpetrator has been called in to give a statement

If you want to know that the perpetrator has been called in to give a statement, you should make that request at the reception for sexual offences. Efforts are made to ensure that perpetrators and victims do not run into each other when they come in to give statements.


Around three weeks could pass from when you press charges until your appointment for giving a statement. This varies between police districts, however.

Complainant or prosecutor? What is the difference?

The complainant (ice. kærandi) is the one who decides to press charges with the police or a prosecutor, your parents or guardiance in this instance. Charges are always pressed by an individual.

The prosecutor (ice. ákærandi) is the person who prosecutes a perpetrator in a criminal case (sometimes called issuing an indictment). The authority to prosecute lies in the hands of the director of public prosecutions, the district prosecutor, and the police commissioner.

Emergency care for sexual assault victims

The Emergency care for sexual assault assists anyone who has been raped, experienced attempted rape or any other sexual abuse.

Bygging Sjúkrahússins á Akureyri

Emergency care in Akureyri for sexual assault victims

The Emergency Care for Sexual Assault in Akureyri assists anyone who has been raped, experienced attempted rape or any other sexual abuse.


The police in Iceland help people who have suffered abuse of any kind. Police see abuse in close relationships as a very serious matter.