Costs of domestic violence in Finland (LAKU)



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The Finnish Institute for Health and Welfare (THL), together with Statistics Finland and the University of Jyväskylä, is carrying out the LAKU study of the costs of domestic violence in Finland.


The main objective is to investigate the costs of domestic violence in terms of health, social and legal service costs. The study makes use of data from a population survey on domestic violence and also from various customer databases.

The study compares the costs for victims of domestic violence with those of control groups. The analysis focuses on the costs incurred for both male and female victims. An examination of the costs of domestic violence experienced by children and in childhood will be carried out to the extent possible using the selected source data.

The objective is to produce research-based information on the costs of domestic violence in order to support decision-making and service development. 


Underpinning the project is the ongoing national implementation of the Council of Europe's Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (the Istanbul Convention). The committee for the combating of violence against women and domestic violence (NAPE) has drawn up a plan for the national implementation of the Istanbul Convention during the period 2018–2021. It includes a measure to implement an assessment of the costs of domestic violence, which is the objective that this research project aims to fulfil. 

Domestic violence is a major societal problem and causes significant human suffering as well as serious physical and mental health issues. International research has found that these factors lead to victims of domestic violence using health care services 30–100% more than the general population. Domestic violence also incurs costs to society through the work of social services, the police and the judicial system.
Domestic violence is largely a hidden problem and a hidden crime, as only a fraction of those who experience domestic violence make contact with a doctor, the police or other services. According to Finnish research, less than one per cent of domestic violence victims that use health care services are identified as such (Siltala et al. 2020). 


The study consists of two sub-studies. The first sub-study looks at customer databases and cost data, examining for the period 2015–2020 the differences between domestic violence-related health costs and costs for the general population. Register data is used to identify those who have experienced domestic violence (HILMO, AvoHILMO, shelters, the police). Next, a control group is formed for comparison with those who have experienced domestic violence. After this, comparison is made of the differences in healthcare costs between those who have experienced violence and the control group using cost data from the HILMO register and the medicine register of the Social Insurance Institution of Finland.

The second sub-study examines the experiences of domestic violence among people living in Finland based on the Gender-Based Violence (GBV) data collection coordinated by Eurostat. GBV data collection is used to form an overall picture of the prevalence and typical forms of domestic violence that are generalisable for the whole population. In addition, an analysis will also be made of the costs of domestic violence in terms of social, health and legal services and the costs of lost working days.


Government’s analysis, assessment, and research activities


  • Statistics Finland: Data collection services 
    Henna Attila, Senior Statistician, tel. +358 29 551 3378 
    Juhani Saari, Senior Statistician, tel. +358 29 551 3575 
    [email protected] 
  • University of Jyväskylä, Department of Psychology
    Heli Siltala, University Lecturer, tel. +358 50 572 1518

Contact information:

Johanna Hietamäki
Senior Researcher
tel. +358 29 524 7990
email: [email protected]