Accessing funds urgently

If you do not have financial resources or your partner or ex-partner has blocked your access to funds, there are some solutions to cover the costs of your basic necessities. Unfortunately, these solutions are still quite limited in France.

Verified by Ouarda Varda Sadoudi on 07/12/2023

Emergency money

France does not yet offer emergency same-day financial assistance to victims of domestic abuse.

However, you can apply for state financial assistance to be paid to you within three to five days. There are also some other solutions you can consider in the immediate.

    • You could think about people close to you who you trust: could one of them lend or give you money to cover the costs of your basic necessities?
    • Organisations offering free services called “associations” can help you; for example, by providing meals or helping you find overnight accommodation. These include:
      • Les Restos du cœur”: this organisation can give you free parcels containing food to cook at home, hygiene products and specific products if you have a baby. They also distribute hot meals and provide centres for people who don’t have a home. Language spoken: mainly French.
      • Le Secours populaire”: this organisation allows you to shop from a selection of self-service groceries without having to pay for anything, including baby products. They can also provide clothing and materials for free. Language spoken: mainly French.
      • La Croix-Rouge: this organisation can give you free food in various forms: parcels, hot meals, shared meals, sandwiches, etc. They also have grocery stores where you can shop by paying only 10% of the actual value of the products. They also offer discounted second-hand clothes in their shops. Language spoken: mainly French.
      • Banques Alimentaires”: this organisation allows you to shop from a selection of self-service groceries without having to pay for anything.
    • At your child’s school: you can ask if your child’s school offers financial or material assistance to families in need.
    • If you need emergency accommodation, there are solutions.
  • Urgent state financial help

    An urgent state financial assistance called “aide universelle d’urgence” is available to victims of domestic abuse. 

    • To be eligible, you must have valid residency rights in France.
    • Depending on your financial situation, this assistance can be in the form of a non-reimbursable lump-sum payment, or a loan.
    • The amount will depend on your financial and family situation. The minimum amount of this financial assistance is 240 euros. 
    • This assistance is granted by the social security payments organisation that you are registered with, or are eligible to register with:
    • You can apply: 
      • online or in person at your social security payments organisation
      • or directly when you file a complaint with the police.
    • Your application must include proof that you have reported domestic abuse:
      • a document proving that you have filed a complaint with the police, known as the “récépissé de plainte”
      • a protection order or “ordonnance de protection” issued by a family court judge called “juge aux affaires familiales (JAF)” 
      • a document stating that the domestic abuse has been reported to a public prosecutor known as the “procureur de la République”. 
    • Once you have sent the request, you should receive the money by bank transfer within three to five days.
    • You can find out more about the conditions of this assistance and a table of the amounts proposed on this website.

    Opening a bank account

    If you do not have your own bank account, it is recommended that you open one as soon as possible in order to receive money into it.

    Releasing money invested in your company

    If you work in France and have money in your company’s savings account as part of the company’s saving plan or “Plan Epargne Entreprise”, you can unlock it in the event of domestic abuse. You can contact your employer to learn more.

    Making an appointment with a social worker or “travailleur social

    It is recommended to make an appointment with a professional known as a “travailleur social” or social worker.

    This professional will be able to help you find solutions based on your personal situation and support with your administrative procedures, particularly when applying for financial assistance. They can also inform you about other available tools, such as reduced-cost or even free public transport depending on your situation.

    To make an appointment with a “travailleur social”, you can:

    • Contact the administrative authorities of your region, called “Conseil départemental”.
    • Contact the organisation in charge of social support, known as the “Centre communal d’action sociale” in your town by contacting your local town hall or “mairie”.
    • Make an appointment with your company’s social work assistant or “assistante sociale” if you are employed. You can contact your employer to learn more.

    Looking for a job

    If you’re not working and you need money, some sectors often hire people quickly.

  • Receiving money from your ex-partner

    If you are married or have children, you may receive a financial contribution from your spouse or the other parent following a judge’s decision:

    However, it may take several weeks or even months before a judge’s decision is made.

    Regaining financial independence

    It is not always easy, but it is possible to regain financial independence, even after having faced economic violence. Try not to feel discouraged.

Legal fees

In France, you can obtain free legal advice and even have your legal costs paid for you if you do not have enough resources.

  • In France, several organisations offer free appointments with lawyers where you can ask your questions and receive legal advice.

    Some insurance policies include a legal protection that may cover part of your legal costs. This may be your home insurance, your bank card insurance, your professional insurance, or any other insurance you have taken out. You can contact your insurance company to find out more.

  • If you have to engage a lawyer or a legal professional called a “huissier de justice” in the context of legal proceedings, but your resources are too limited to pay for them, you may be able to benefit from partial or full payment of your legal costs, known as legal aid or “aide juridictionnelle”.

Find support

In France, there are many services that can support you, give you advice, and assist you with procedures and paperwork. Most of them are free of charge.

  • Social workers or “travailleurs sociaux” and “assistants sociaux” are professionals who support people in their administrative procedures and help them find solutions according to the difficulties they are faced with.

    • These services are free of charge.
    • You can make an appointment to receive personalised advice according to your situation and help you with the next steps, for example: applications for state financial assistance, applications for social housing, registration with the French unemployment office “Pôle emploi”, etc.
    • Available languages: mainly French.
    • Contact: you can request an appointment with a “travailleur social” with:
  • A “Mairie” is a local administration in charge of local policies. Its main role is to help its citizens in difficulty. They can inform you about your rights and the financial assistance available, direct you to relevant organisations, and even help you with certain administrative procedures.

    • This service is free of charge.
    • Language available: mainly French.
    • Contact: you will find the contact details of your local “mairieon this site, by specifying the name of the city or town where you live.
  • Associations” are organisations that offer a range of services.

    • These services are free of charge.
    • The services offered vary considerably from one “association” to another. They can give you advice and sometimes they can assist you with procedures and paperwork.
    • Languages available: mainly French.
    • You will find a list of “associations” specialising in helping victims of violence near you in this directory by selecting your French department.

While the utmost care has gone into providing you with the most accurate and up to date information, this page is not intended to replace legal or professional advice. Laws and procedures change regularly so it is important to consult qualified professionals.

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