Exposure to crime

Updated: 1 Jun 2018
Next update: 3 Jun 2019

The indicator describes the proportion of persons aged 15 to 74 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 mail and Internet survey.

The National Crime Victim Survey is targeted at persons aged 15 to 74 who have a permanent address in Finland. The survey participants are selected randomly from the Population Register Centre’s population information system. In 2016, a total of 6,159 people took part in the survey (response rate 44%). 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 the statistics on offences. 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 to 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.


Share of those having experienced violence fell in 2016

The 2016 National Crime Victim Survey shows that six per cent of those aged between 15 and 74 had experienced physical violence constituting a slap or more in the course of the year. Four per cent of respondents had experienced violence that led to an injury. One in ten of those aged between 15 and 74 had been threatened with violence over the course of the year. The percentage of respondents who were victims of physical violence constituting a slap or more fell by one percentage point from 2015, but remained on level with 2014. The percentage of people who had experienced the threat of violence has stayed at the same level in 2012 to 2016.

The number of respondents who reported having been subject to violence constituting at least a slap was much higher among those aged under 35 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 (aged 55 to 74) experienced the least violence. Respondents under the age of 55 were most often subject to threats of violence.

Young adults experience acts of violence when spending time in public places and restaurants and bars more often than those in other 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, of whom one tenth reported being a victim of violence or threatened with violence in the course of their duties in 2016.

Surveys on victims of crime generally show only minor differences between men and women in the experiencing of violence. In the 2016 survey, there were no differences in experiencing violence among men and women, but men were somewhat more often subject to threats of violence. 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.