Published: 28 May 2015

Around one-quarter of domestic violence and intimate partner violence was directed at children

According to Statistics Finland's data, there were 6,900 victims in domestic violence offences recorded by the police in 2014, which is 6.4 per cent down on the previous year. Of victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence, 69.0 per cent were women. However, good one-half of aggravated assaults were directed at men. Of suspects of domestic violence and intimate partner violence, 22.6 per cent were women. Close on one-quarter of victims were underage.

Victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence by sex in 2010 to 2014

Victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence by sex in 2010 to 2014

Slightly under one-half of recorded domestic violence and intimate partner violence is violence between married or cohabiting couples. Close on one-fifth of domestic violence and intimate partner violence took place between former married or cohabiting couples. In around 80 per cent of cases of violence between married or cohabiting couples, or former married or cohabiting couples the victim was a woman. In this 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 2010 to 2014

Relation between the victim and the suspect/year 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014
Total 5,711 8,224 8,399 7,346 6,873
Suspect is the parent of the victim 1,366 1,698 2,078 1,656 1,614
Siblings 284 471 430 460 381
Directed by a child at his or her parent 287 380 374 338 343
Between spouses, total 2,453 3,915 3,846 3,350 3,117
...Spouse 1,539 2,405 2,350 2,062 1,891
...Co-habiting partner 914 1,510 1,496 1,288 1,226
Former spouse 519 690 596 565 540
Former co-habiting partner 605 802 807 748 718
Other person living in the same household 197 268 268 229 160

Of all recorded domestic violence and intimate partner violence cases, around two-thirds were assaults and one-quarter petty assaults. Around two per cent of all cases were sexual exploitations of a child. Of the suspects, close on one-half were under the influence of alcohol or some other intoxicant at the time of committing the offence. Around 55 per cent of domestic violence and intimate partner violence took place between persons living in the same household.

Underage victims

The law reform, 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. The amendment also seems to have increased the proportion of women as suspects of domestic violence and intimate partner violence. In 2010, the proportion of women suspected of domestic violence and intimate partner violence was 19.3 per cent, and in 2014 the corresponding proportion was 22.6 per cent.

Around one-third of violence directed by parents at their children is carried out by women. The share of violence performed by women is, however, the higher the younger the child victim is. In cases where the victim is under six years old, the suspect was a woman (the child's mother) in 33.7 per cent of cases. When the victim was aged between 15 and 17, the suspect was a woman in 28.2 per cent of cases. The absolute numbers are relatively small, so even the slightest changes can have a big effect on percentage changes.

Violence directed at underage children by their parents 2014

Victim's age/suspect's sex Male Female Person suspected total
Number % Number % Number
0 - 6 398 66.2 203 33.7 601
7 - 14 464 62.8 274 37.1 738
15 - 17 112 71.7 44 28.2 156
Underage, total 974 65.1 521 34.8 1 495

Repeatability of domestic violence and intimate partner violence

In 2009 to 2014, there were slightly more than 3,000 victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence that had been victims of the same in at least two different years. Of these victims, around 80 per cent were women. There were 340 underage persons that had been victims in several years.

A person can also become the victim of domestic violence and intimate partner violence several times in one year. In 2014, there were 6,900 cases of domestic violence and intimate partner violence with 5,800 different victims. Around 800 of the victims were persons, who had been the victim of domestic violence and intimate partner violence more than once in 2014.

The age and sex distribution of victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence differs from the general age and sex distribution of victims of violent offences. In 2014, the victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence were women in 69 per cent of cases, while, in general, the victims of violent offences were women in 44 per cent of cases. Only among victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence aged under 15, the victim was a man more often than a woman. In general, the victims of violent offences are more often men than women. Further information can be found in the appendix table.

Data material

The domestic violence and intimate partner violence data has been formed based on register data. Information about domicile, family status and children, parents, spouses and registered partnerships have been combined for the victim and suspect from Statistics Finland's 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 takes into consideration cases where the victim and suspect have been cohabiting in the year preceding the statistical reference year. All offences that were reported in the statistical reference year are included, so the offence can have taken place in a previous year.

The statistics on Offences known to the police and on Coercive measures were combined in March 2015. Data released prior to that can be found on the old web pages of the statistics. The web pages of the statistics on Offences known to the police: http://www.tilastokeskus.fi/til/polrik/index_en.html and of the statistics on Coercive measures: http://tilastokeskus.fi/til/pkei/index_en.html


Source: Statistics on offences and coercive measures 2014, Statistics Finland

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

Director in charge: Riitta Harala

Publication in pdf-format (211.1 kB)

Tables

Tables in databases

Appendix tables


Updated 28.5.2015

Referencing instructions:

Official Statistics of Finland (OSF): Statistics on offences and coercive measures [e-publication].
ISSN=2342-9178. Domestic violence and intimate partner violence 2014. Helsinki: Statistics Finland [referred: 17.11.2019].
Access method: http://www.stat.fi/til/rpk/2014/15/rpk_2014_15_2015-05-28_tie_001_en.html