Threat of domestic violence in home. LEHTIKUVA

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The latest figures from authorities reveal a troubling rise in domestic violence cases reported last year, with a total of 12,300 victims. Among these, the number of adult victims increased by 3.2%, while the number of child victims saw a rise of over 10% compared to 2022.

Of the adult victims, 74% were women, while about half of the child victims were girls.

Although male victims constituted nearly one-third of female victims, there was a notable 10% increase in male victims from the previous year.

Kimmo Haapakangas, Senior Statistician, highlighted, "The most significant percentage increase in male victims was in cases of spousal violence, up by 18.3%. Numerically, the largest increase was in cases where the perpetrator was the victim's parent. Boys are statistically more likely than girls to be victims of parental violence."

Both spousal violence and parental violence against children saw an uptick in reports. Haapakangas suggests that increased media coverage of domestic violence may have raised awareness, encouraging more victims to come forward. While the rise in reported cases might seem negative, it could also indicate improved recognition and reporting of domestic violence.

However, the statistics only reflect cases known to authorities. Much domestic violence, particularly in dating relationships, remains unreported.

"Unfortunately, the crime reporting system does not record the relationship between victim and perpetrator in a way that's useful for statistics. Therefore, dating violence and other informal relationships are not adequately captured," Haapakangas explains.

The data underscores the urgent need for continued efforts to address domestic violence across all demographics. With male victim reports increasing and heightened media attention on the issue, it is clear that more comprehensive measures are required to support victims and prevent domestic violence.

As awareness grows, so too must the resources and support systems for those affected by domestic and intimate partner violence. This includes better data collection methods to fully understand the scope and scale of the problem, ensuring that all victims, regardless of gender or relationship status, receive the help they need.

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