Published: 6 June 2019

Among adults, 76.5 per cent of victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence were women

According to Statistics Finland's data, there were 9,900 victims in domestic violence and intimate partner violence offences reported to the authorities in 2018, which is 3.6 per cent more than in the previous year. In domestic violence and intimate partner violence directed at adults, one-half took place between married or cohabiting couples. Of adult victims, 76.5 per cent were women. Of all victims, 24.4 per cent were minors.

Adult victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence by sex in 2009 to 2018

Adult victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence by sex in 2009 to 2018

There were 9,900 victims in domestic violence and intimate partner violence offences reported to the authorities in 2018, which is 3.6 per cent more than in the previous year. Among these victims, 75.3 per cent were adults. In all, 24.4 per cent were minors and the age of 0.3 per cent is unknown. Of adult victims, 76.5 per cent were women. Of all suspects, 77.6 per cent were men. The statistics include only cases reported to the authorities, by no means all cases of domestic violence and intimate partner violence are reported to the authorities.

In all, 37.5 per cent of domestic violence and intimate partner violence recorded in 2018 was violence between married or cohabiting couples, which is 1.4 percentage points higher than in 2017. The share has been decreasing from 2009, when it was 44.7 per cent. In 2018, one-sixth of domestic violence and intimate partner violence took place between former married or cohabiting couples. In slightly over 80 per cent of cases of violence between married or cohabiting couples and former married or cohabiting couples the victim was a woman. Violence between married or cohabiting couples and former married or cohabiting couples increased by close on 200 cases (3.8 per cent) from the previous year. In 2018, the number of cases reported was 5,400. In these statistics, persons are considered former cohabiting couples if they have lived together in the year preceding the statistical reference year but not in the statistical reference year.

Victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence 2009 to 2018

Relation between the victim and the suspect 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 1) 2016 2017 2018
Total 5,807 6,651 10,219 10,605 9,422 8,864 9,741 9,905 9,546 9,886
Suspect is the parent of the victim 1,038 1,419 1,852 2,282 1,825 1,774 2,316 2,236 2,176 2,395
...Suspect is the biological or adoptive father of the victim 716 914 1,217 1,458 1,154 1,112 1,396 1,353 1,308 1,437
...Suspect is the biological or adoptive mother of the victim 260 377 508 699 568 567 795 759 757 830
...Suspect is a parent in the victim's family, not biological 62 128 127 125 103 95 125 124 111 128
Siblings 297 329 575 575 591 492 518 512 499 468
Directed by a child at his or her parent, total 286 351 517 506 483 501 474 506 490 566
Between spouses and co-habitating partners total 2,593 2,696 4,442 4,418 3,818 3,562 3,654 3,814 3,447 3,705
...Co-habiting partner 984 989 1,651 1,642 1,424 1,360 1,620 1,636 1,458 1,549
...Spouse 1,609 1,707 2,791 2,776 2,394 2,202 2,034 2,178 1,989 2,156
Former spouse 513 600 914 900 854 821 801 869 864 841
Former co-habitating partner 625 668 963 1,013 937 880 893 831 843 803
Other person living in the same household 34 44 50 60 58 58 255 296 324 365
Cousin 18 35 32 38 36 25 30 22 20 33
The victim and suspect have a common child 403 509 874 813 820 751 800 819 883 710
1) Starting from 2015, we have also considered, whether the victim and suspect have lived in the same dwelling in any month during the statistical reference year. We have formed cohabiting couples of those living in the same dwelling if both are aged over 18, of opposite sexes and their age difference is less than 16 years.

Recorded cases of domestic violence and intimate partner violence directed by parents against their underage children has increased. In 2018, a total of 2,400 cases of violence directed by parents against their underage children was recorded, which is 24.3 per cent of all recorded cases of domestic violence and intimate partner violence. The growth compared to 2017 was 200 cases. Close on 500 cases of violence between siblings was recorded. In one-quarter of such cases, the victim was a minor.

Adult victims

Of victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence, 7,400 were adults. Good one-half of them were aged between 25 and 44. Of the victims, 76.5 per cent were women. The share of women has decreased by nearly five percentage points from 2009. In turn, 81.5 per cent of suspects were men. The share of male suspects has fallen by nearly five percentage points from 2009. In case of male victims, the suspect was also male in one-third of cases. Correspondingly, in case of female victims the suspect was also female in only four per cent of cases.

In 2018, one-half of domestic violence and intimate partner violence cases directed at adults took place between married or cohabiting couples. The share has decreased by around five percentage points in the past decade. Fifty-eight per cent of violence between couples was between married couples and 42 per cent between cohabiting couples. The share of violence between married couples has decreased by four percentage points over a decade. For male victims, the suspect is the current spouse or cohabiting partner in around 40 per cent of cases and for female victims in slightly over 50 per cent of cases.

Violence between former married or cohabiting couples represented 22 per cent of all violence directed at adults. Here, persons are considered former cohabiting couples if they have lived together in the year preceding the statistical reference year but not in the statistical reference year.

In addition, the victim and suspect had a child together in 10 per cent of cases. Current and former married or cohabiting couples can also have a common child but in this examination, we have primarily established who are married or cohabiting and only then looked at whether the victim and suspect have a common child.

In slightly over 10 per cent of cases where the victim was a man, the suspect was his sister or brother.

Of domestic violence and intimate partner violence directed at adults, 75 per cent were assaults. Close on 20 per cent were menaces. For men, the share of assaults was slightly higher and the share of menaces slightly lower than for women. The share of sexual offences in domestic violence and intimate partner violence was around one per cent.

Underage victims

In 2,400 recorded cases of domestic violence and intimate partner violence in 2018 the victim was aged under 18. The share of underage victims has increased from around 18 per cent in 2009 to 25 per cent. The recorded number of underage victims has grown partly as a result of legislative changes. The legislative amendment, which entered into force at the beginning of 2011, considerably increased the number of recorded assault offences. After the legislative amendment, petty assaults on minors or close relatives became officially prosecutable. In addition, at the beginning of April 2015, an amendment to the Child Welfare Act (1302/2014) came into effect, which extended the reporting obligation in cases where an offence against a child's life or health is suspected.

Child victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence by sex in 2009 to 2018

Child victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence by sex in 2009 to 2018

Of domestic violence and intimate partner violence cases directed at minors, 96 per cent were committed by adults. Sixty-five per cent of violence by adults against minors were committed by men in 2018. The share of men as suspects has decreased from nearly 75 per cent in 2009.

Of minor victims, 53.3 per cent were boys. The share of boys has increased by around four percentage points from 2009. Among victims aged under 10, around 60 per cent were boys. The share of girls increases as the age of the victim increases: of victims aged 10 to 14 around 55 per cent and of victims aged 15 to 17 slightly over 60 per cent are girls.

Of all underage victims, 23 per cent were aged under five, 37 per cent were aged between five and nine, 27 per cent between 10 and 14 and 13 per cent between 15 and 17.

Recurrence of domestic violence and intimate partner violence

In 2018, altogether 9,900 cases of domestic violence and intimate partner violence were recorded, and they had 7,700 different victims. Around 20 per cent of the victims or 1,500 persons had been the victim of domestic violence and intimate partner violence more than once in 2018. There were 1,200 adult victims of repeated violence of whom 84 per cent were women.

In 2009 to 2018, there were 8,200 persons among the 60,000 victims of domestic and intimate partner violence that, according to the police, have been victims of domestic and intimate partner violence in at least two different years and 2,000 in at least three different years. Among adults, around 7,000 had been victims in at least two different years, 83 per cent of whom were women. Among adults who had been victims in at least three different years, 89 per cent were women. There were slightly under 1,000 underage persons who had been victims in several years.

Data material

The domestic violence and intimate partner violence data were formed based on register data of offences recorded by the police. Information about domicile, family status and children, parents, spouses and registered partnerships has been combined from Statistics Finland's data for the victim and suspect in the police Patja system of crime reporting data. It has been established whether the victim and suspect are cohabiting based on family status and domicile data. The register data are from the statistical reference year. The data also take into consideration cases where the victim and suspect have been cohabiting in the year preceding the statistical reference year. An examination of whether the victim and suspect have a common child has been added to the statistical data. If the victim and suspect are a cohabiting or married couple or a former married or cohabiting couple they are primarily included in these categories and only then do we examine whether the victim and suspect have a common child.

Starting from 2015, we have also considered, whether the victim and suspect have lived in the same dwelling in any month during the statistical reference year. We have formed cohabiting couples of those living in the same dwelling if both are aged over 18, of opposite sexes and their age difference is less than 16 years. All offences that were reported in the statistical reference year are included, so the offence can have taken place in an earlier year. In addition to sexual offences in Chapter 20 of the Criminal Code and offences against life and health in Chapter 21, offences related to domestic violence and intimate partner violence include deprivation of personal liberty (Criminal Code, Chapter 25, Sections 1 to 2), menace (Chapter 25, Section 7), stalking (Chapter 25, Section 7a), coercion (Chapter 25, Section 8) and trafficking in human beings (Chapter 25, Section 3). In addition, robberies (Chapter 31, Section 1) and extortions (Chapter 31, Section 3) are included.


Source: Statistics on offences and coercive measures 2018, Statistics Finland

Inquiries: Kimmo Haapakangas 029 551 3252, kimmo.haapakangas@stat.fi

Director in charge: Jari Tarkoma

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Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables


Updated 6.6.2019

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Statistics on offences and coercive measures [e-publication].
ISSN=2342-9178. Domestic violence and intimate partner violence 2018. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 26.6.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/rpk/2018/15/rpk_2018_15_2019-06-06_tie_001_en.html