Reported domestic violence increases in Finland
There were 9,900 cases of domestic violence and intimate partner violence offences reported to the authorities in 2018. Around one-fifth of the victims had suffered this problem more than once during the year.
During the year 2018 there were 9,900 domestic violence and intimate partner violence offences reported to the Finnish authorities, which is 3.6% more than in the previous year, according to the the latest data published by Statistics Finland.
These official figures only include the cases reported to the authorities. In this sense, the Finnish statistical office remarks that "by no means all cases of domestic violence and intimate partner violence are reported to the authorities".
The latest numbers published show that 75.3% of the victims were adults, 24.4% were minors and the age of 0.3% is unknown. Among the adult victims, 76.5% were women. Of all suspects, 77.6% were men. In total there had been 7,700 different victims who suffered the 9,900 reported offences. This is because around 20% of them (or 1,500 persons) had been victims more than once during the year.
In this sense, the Finnish statistical office calls attention on the recurrence of this problem: during 2018 there were 1,200 adult victims of repeated violence, of whom 84% were women.
Married and cohabiting couples
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. One-sixth of domestic violence and intimate partner violence took place between former married or cohabiting couples. In slightly over 80 per cent of these cases 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%) 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.
Source: Statistics Finland.
7,400 of the victims of domestic violence and intimate partner violence were adults. Good one-half of them were aged between 25 and 44. Of the victims, 76.5% were women. The share of women has decreased by nearly five percentage points from 2009. In turn, 81.5 per cent of the 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.
58% of violence between couples was between married couples and 42% 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% of cases and for female victims in slightly over 50% of cases. The victim and the suspect had a child together in 10% of the cases.
Of domestic violence and intimate partner violence directed at adults, 75% were assaults. Close on 20% 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 1%.
Source: Statistics Finland.
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 came into effect, which extended the reporting obligation in cases where an offence against a child's life or health is suspected.
Of domestic violence and intimate partner violence cases directed at minors, 96% were committed by adults. 65% of violence by adults against minors were committed by men in 2018.
Of minor victims, 53.3% were boys. The share of boys has increased by around four percentage points from 2009. Among victims aged under 10, around 60% were boys. The share of girls increases as the age of the victim increases: of victims aged 10 to 14 around 55% and of victims aged 15 to 17 slightly over 60% are girls.
Of all underage victims, 23% were aged under five, 37% were aged between five and nine, 27% between 10 and 14 and 13% between 15 and 17.