Exposure to crime 

Updated: 22.6.2017 - Next update: 1.5.2018

Share of those who experienced violence increased in 2015

The 2015 National Crime Victim Survey shows that seven per cent of those aged between 15 and 74 had experienced physical violence constituting a slap or more in the course of one year. 4.5 per cent of subjects experienced violence that led to an injury. One in ten of those aged between 15 and 74 experienced the threat of violence over the course of the year. The percentage of respondents who were victim of physical violence rose by one percentage point from 2014 to 2015, but remained at the same level as in 2012 and 2013. The percentage of people who experienced the threat of violence stayed at the same level in 2015 as in 2012 and 2014.

The number of respondents who reported being subject to violence constituting at least a slap was much higher among those aged between 15 and 24 than in the older age groups. The difference was similar in the case of more serious violence, where the act resulted in some kind of injury, such as a bruise, contusion or cut. Those in the oldest age group (ages 55 to 74) experienced the least violence. Those under the age of 55 were subject to threats of violence more so than those aged over 55.

Young people experience acts of violence in public places and restaurants and bars more often than those in the older age groups. Especially young men are very susceptible to this type of act of violence. Middle-aged people and older people, instead, tend to encounter acts of violence more in the workplace or in the course of their duties. Such situations in the workplace are particularly common among women aged between 25 and 54. Among them, one tenth of the respondents reported being a victim of violence or threatened with violence in the course of their duties in 2015.

Surveys on victims of crime generally show only minor differences between men and women in the experiencing of violence. In the 2015 survey, women were slightly more active in reporting acts of physical violence that were graver than a slap. The gender difference was the greatest in the case of less grave forms of violence, such as grabbing and shoving. Among both men and women, the victims did not generally know the perpetrators of violence or those who threatened them with violence or they were a mere acquaintance.

Institute of Criminology and Legal Policy

Description of indicator

The indicator describes the proportion of 15–74 year-olds who have reported becoming a victim of threats or physical violence during the past 12 months. The information is based on the National Crime Victim Survey, which is conducted both as a traditional mail and as an internet questionnaire.

The National Crime Victim Survey is targeted at 15–74 year-olds who have a permanent address in Finland. The survey participants are selected randomly from the Population Register Centre’s population information system. In 2014, a total of 6,792 people took part in the survey. The survey covers the incidence of becoming a victim of threats, physical violence and property offences, as well as fear of violence and the interpretation of violence. The survey also describes total levels of violence and property offences, including cases not reported to the police and thus excluded from crime statistics. The survey is intended to be repeated annually.

A new form of the National Crime Victim Survey was conducted for the first time in 2012. The National Victimisation Surveys conducted in the period 1980–2009 covered the incidence of becoming a victim of various accidents in addition to crimes. The National Crime Victim Survey differs in terms of methodology and content from the earlier victimisation surveys, and the results are not directly comparable.