Exposure to crime 

Updated: 30.4.2014 - Next update: 29.5.2015

Young people experience violence more often than others

According to the 2013 National Crime Victim Survey, seven per cent of 15–74 year-olds had experienced physical violence consisting of at least a slap during a year. Around four per cent of respondents had experienced violence that resulted in a physical injury such as a bruise or a cut. One tenth reported that they had experienced threats of violence during a year. The proportion of those who had experienced either threats or physical violence was unchanged in 2013 compared to the previous year.

Those in the 15–24 years age group stated that they had experienced violence consisting of at least a slap almost twice as often as the older age groups. The difference was also similar in the case of more serious violence that resulted in an injury, such as a bruise, contusion or wound. Least violence was experienced in the oldest age groups. Threats of violence were most commonly experienced among under 55 year-old respondents.

Young adults’ experiences of violence relate more often than in other age groups to time spent in public places as well as in restaurants and bars. Moreover, young adults also become the victims of violence more often than others in their own homes. Middle-aged and older people, on the other hand, experience violence more often at work. Men and women reported that they experienced approximately the same total number of violent acts, but that the experiences are distributed in different ways. Women are subjected to violence and threats more often at work and in their own home, men in restaurants and public places. The workplace violence experienced by women is to a large extent explained by the fact that women more frequently work in service and care sector occupations in which threatening and violent situations easily arise.

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 year. The results are reported by age group. 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 2013, a total of 6,999 people answered the survey questionnaire. 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.