Thursday 9/16/21
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Domestic violence on the rise in Finland

Three out of four adult victims of domestic or intimate partner violence are women.

Woman cry girl sad

In Finland, women are the ones who suffer the most from domestic violence and intimate partner violence.

According to Statistics Finland's latest data, in 2019 there were 10,600 victims in domestic violence and intimate partner violence offences reported to the authorities, which is 7% more than in the previous year. Of those victims, 7,900 (or around 75%) were adults and the remaining 25% were age minors.

Of adult victims, good one-half of them were aged between 25 and 44 and 76.8% were women. In turn, 82.2% of suspects were men. 

In case of male victims, the suspect was also male in one-third of cases. Correspondingly, for female victims the suspect was also female in only 4% 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 1 percentage point from the previous year. 58% of violence between couples was between married couples (this share decreased by 4 percentage points over a decade) and 42% between cohabiting couples.

For female victims, the suspect is the current spouse or cohabiting partner in slightly over 50% of cases and for men in around 40% of cases.

Violence against minors

In 2,600 recorded cases, the victim of this type of violence was aged under 18.

The share of underage victims has increased from around 18% in 2009 to 25%, partially as a result of legislative changes that made petty assaults on minors or close relatives more prosecutable.

96% of cases of domestic violence and intimate partner violence directed at minors were committed by adults. And 65% of violence by adults against minors were committed by men. Of minor victims, 52.2% were boys.

The share of girls increases as the age of the victim grows: of victims aged 10 to 14 slightly over 50% and of victims aged 15 to 17 slightly over 60% are girls.

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

These figures include only cases reported to the authorities. The statistical agency highlights that in Finland "by no means all cases of domestic violence and intimate partner violence are reported to the authorities."

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