FSD2943 Child Victim Survey 2013

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  • Ellonen, Noora (Police University College)
  • Fagerlund, Monica (Police University College)
  • Kääriäinen, Juha (Police University College)
  • Peltola, Marja (Finnish Youth Research Society. Finnish Youth Research Network)
  • Sariola, Heikki (Central Union for Child Welfare)


adults, assault, child abuse, child neglect, child sexual abuse, children, corporal punishment, crime victims, crimes against persons, crimes against property, cyberbullying, domestic violence, internet, school bullying, sexual behaviour, sexual harassment, youth


The survey focused on violence against children and adolescents in Finland, surveying different forms and manifestations of violence. The main themes in the survey were experiences of crime (such as robberies, thefts, threats, assaults and domestic violence), sibling and peer victimisation, sexual violence, harassment and threats via the internet and mobile phone (cyber-bullying). New themes in the 2013 survey included violence occurring during instructed activities and violence against family members witnessed in public. Many of the questions charting these experiences and incidents are based on the Juvenile Victimization Questionnaire (JVQ, Finkelhor et al.). More than 11,000 children across Finland participated in the survey. The 2013 survey was conducted in collaboration with the Finnish Youth Research Society.

The respondents were asked to whom they were able to talk about their personal matters and with whom they spent their free time. Smoking, alcohol and drug use as well as alcohol use in the family were charted. One set of questions studied the respondents' health status, opinions on own appearance, and emotional and behavioural problems (with questions based on Strengths and Difficulties Questionnaire [SDQ, SDQ-Fin]).

The respondents who participated in instructed activity (e.g. sports, music) in their leisure time were asked whether their instructor had threatened them or abused them verbally, physically or sexually. The respondents' experiences of violence and other illegal activities were studied; the questions presented examined whether they had been a victim of a crime (violent robbery, theft/robbery, assault, threat of assault), and relating to each crime, they were asked how many such incidents had occurred in the previous 12 months, whether the incident had happened before, how many perpetrators there had been, who had been the (main) perpetrator (including his/her sex, age, and ethnicity), where the incident had happened, and whether the respondent or the perpetrator had been under the influence of alcohol or drugs at the time. Relating to incidents involving violence, the respondents were asked what kind of violence they had experienced, what kind of injuries they had sustained, whether they had visited hospital or a doctor because of the injuries, and whether the perpetrators had made discriminatory remarks during the incident.

Sibling and peer victimisation was examined by studying the respondents' experiences of assaults, physical bullying, and verbal abuse by siblings and peers. Questions were largely the same as the ones asked earlier when experiences of crime were being charted. Regarding witnessing violence against family members, the respondents were asked whether they had seen or heard their mother, father or sibling being verbally or physically abused (e.g. hit with a fist or an item, attacked with a knife) or threatened with violence at home, and who the perpetrator had been, how old the respondent had been when the (first) incident had occurred, and whether the victim had sustained visible injuries or injuries that required professional treatment. Another question investigated whether a family member had been verbally or physically abused, threatened with violence etc. in public. Parents' means of approaching a conflict situation with the respondent were charted (e.g. sulking, insulting, threatening with violence, spanking on the bottom, kicking).

Relating to sexual activity with adults (or people at least five years older), the respondents were asked, among other things, whether they had experienced sexual advances from or been in sexual contact with adults, what had happened (e.g. sexual propositions, fondling, exposure of genitals), how old they had been, whether the respondent had known the adult, which of them had initiated the activity, whether coercion, violence, gifts or alcohol were involved, whether the respondent viewed the situation as sexual abuse, and whether the respondent had told anyone about the incident and if not, why.

Cyberbullying and online harassment experienced by the respondents was investigated with questions charting whether they had experienced various forms of cyberbullying or harassment in the previous 12 months (e.g. bullying, threats or sexual harassment by mobile phone, cyber defamation, unauthorised use of photos or videos online, requests for sexual material or sexual propositions online). The respondents were asked whether they had told anyone about such incidents and what the person who had been told about them had done. Finally, the respondents were asked whether they had ever met an online acquaintance, whether any online acquaintance they had met had persuaded or forced them into sex, where on the Internet the respondents had met this person, how old the respondents had been when the incident had happened, and whether it had been photographed or recorded.

Pupils on ninth grade were asked additional questions about dating and sexual experiences with their peers (e.g. first kiss, dating/relationship status, experiences of sexual interaction with and without physical touch, and sexual activity involving coitus). The questions were largely similar to the ones asked when sexual activity with adults was charted.

Background variables included, among others, the respondent's gender, age, household composition, and country of birth as well as parents' ages, occupations, employment statuses, countries of birth, and educations. Language spoken at home and financial situation of the family were also inquired about.

Study description in machine readable DDI 2.0 format

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