Published: 2 June 2020

Women made up 76.8 per cent of adult victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence

According to Statistics Finland's data, there were 10,600 victims in domestic violence and intimate partner violence offences reported to the authorities in 2019, which is seven 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, 76.8 per cent were women. Of all victims, 24.6 per cent were minors.

Adult victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence by sex in 2009 to 2019

Adult victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence by sex in 2009 to 2019

There were 10,600 victims in domestic violence and intimate partner violence offences reported to the authorities in 2019, which is seven per cent more than in the previous year. Among these victims, 75 per cent were adults. In all, 24.6 per cent were children and the age of 0.3 per cent is unknown. Of adult victims, 76.8 per cent were women. Of all suspects, 78.2 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, 37.8 per cent of domestic violence and intimate partner violence recorded in 2019 was violence between married or cohabiting couples, which is 0.5 percentage points higher than in 2018. The share has fallen slightly compared to the early 2010s. In 2019, slightly under 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 good 300 cases (6.4 per cent) from the previous year. In 2019, the number of cases reported was 5,700. 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 2019

Relation between the victim and the suspect 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018 2019
Total 5,809 6,657 10,224 10,602 9,418 8,862 9,741 9,911 9,558 9,888 10,581
Suspect is the parent of the victim 1,038 1,418 1,852 2,282 1,825 1,773 2,316 2,236 2,179 2,395 2,573
...Suspect is the biological or adoptive father of the victim 716 913 1,217 1,458 1,154 1,111 1,396 1,353 1,311 1,438 1,576
...Suspect is the biological or adoptive mother of the victim 260 377 508 699 568 567 795 759 757 830 893
...Suspect is a parent in the victim's family, not biological 62 128 127 125 103 95 125 124 111 127 104
Siblings 297 329 575 576 591 492 518 512 499 468 593
Directed by a child at his or her parent, total 286 353 517 506 483 501 474 507 490 566 615
Between spouses and co-habitating partners total 2,593 2,704 4,442 4,419 3,821 3,566 3,655 3,814 3,448 3,685 4,003
...Co-habiting partner 983 991 1,650 1,642 1,427 1,360 1,620 1,632 1,456 1,532 1,671
...Spouse 1,610 1,713 2,792 2,777 2,394 2,206 2,035 2,182 1,992 2,153 2,332
Former spouse 513 594 921 895 846 817 803 870 871 856 876
Former co-habitating partner 625 668 966 1,013 937 880 893 830 842 802 808
Other person living in the same household 34 44 50 61 58 58 252 296 322 351 327
Cousin 18 35 32 38 36 25 30 22 20 33 29
The victim and suspect have a common child 405 512 869 812 821 750 800 824 887 732 757

Recorded cases of domestic violence and intimate partner violence directed by parents against their underage children has increased. In 2019, a total of 2,600 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 2018 was 200 cases. Close on 600 cases of violence between siblings was recorded. In nearly 30 per cent of these cases the victim was a minor.

Adult victims

Of victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence, 7,900 were adults. Good one-half of them were aged between 25 and 44. Of the victims, 76.8 per cent were women. The share of women has decreased by nearly five percentage points from 2009. In turn, 82.2 per cent of suspects were men. The share of male suspects has fallen by nearly four 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 2019, one-half of domestic violence and intimate partner violence cases directed at adults took place between married or cohabiting couples. The share rose by one percentage point from the previous year. 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 21 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, around 75 per cent were assaults. Around 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 2,600 recorded cases of domestic violence and intimate partner violence in 2019 the victim was aged under 18. The share of underage victims has increased from around 18 per cent in 2009 to close on 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 2019

Child victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence by sex in 2009 to 2019

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 2019. The share of men as suspects has decreased from nearly 75 per cent in 2009.

Of minor victims, 52.2 per cent were boys. The share of boys has increased by a few percentage points from 2009. Among victims aged under 10, slightly under 60 per cent were boys. The share of girls increases as the age of the victim grows: of victims aged 10 to 14 slightly over 50 per cent and of victims aged 15 to 17 slightly over 60 per cent are girls.

Of all underage victims, 21 per cent were aged under five, 40 per cent were aged between five and nine, 26 per cent between 10 and 14 and 13 per cent between 15 and 17.

Recurrence of domestic violence and intimate partner violence

In 2019, altogether 10,600 cases of domestic violence and intimate partner violence were recorded, and they had 8,000 different victims. Around 20 per cent of the victims or 1,700 persons had been the victim of domestic violence and intimate partner violence more than once in 2019. There were 1,500 adult victims of repeated violence of whom over 90 per cent were women.

In 2009 to 2019, there were 9,400 persons among the 66,000 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 2,300 in at least three different years. Among adults, around 8,000 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 1,200 underage persons who had been victims in several years.

Data file

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, are of opposite sexes and their age difference is under 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 2019, 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 2.6.2020

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Statistics on offences and coercive measures [e-publication].
ISSN=2342-9178. 15 2019. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 13.7.2020].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/rpk/2019/15/rpk_2019_15_2020-06-02_tie_001_en.html