Exposure to crime 

Updated: 29.4.2016 - Next update: 1.5.2017

Violent crime victimisation has decreased since 2012

According to the 2014 National Crime Victim Survey, six per cent of 15 to 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 on of 15 to 74 year-olds has experienced threats of physical violence. The proportion of those who have experienced physical violence has declined by one percentage point in a two-year span. The proportion of those who have experienced threats has remained unchanged.

Those in the 15–24 years age group stated that they had experienced violence consisting of at least a slap substantially more often than those on 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 (55 to 74 year-olds). 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. Particularly young men are suspect to violence in such places. Middle-aged and older people, on the other hand, experience violence more often at work. Violence and threats at work were most commonly experiences by women aged 25 to 54 years. In 2014, one in ten women in that age-group reported of violence at workplace.

The differences in victimisation between men and women are typically small in survey-based crime victimisation studies. In the 2014 survey there were no differences in violent victimisation consisting of at least a slap. Women, however, reported more often than men that they had experienced violence such as grabbing or pushing. Among both men and women the perpetrators were most often unknown or acquaintances of the victim.

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.