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Paper: Finland’s child murder rate highest in the West

More children are killed in Finland than in any other western country, according to the Sunday newspaper supplement Sunnuntaisuomalainen. Finland has especially high numbers of fatal assaults on under one-year-olds.

Perheväkivalta-kuvituskuva.
Image: Yle

Some 50,000 children each year suffer some form of assault from their parents. Children are most often killed by mothers afflicted by mental problems.

According to research led by child psychiatrist Anne Kauppi, about 200 children in Finland lost their lives at the hands of their parents in 1970-1994. Risk factors in such cases include self-destructive behaviours among parents, their heavy use of alcohol and domestic violence.

However, in the last 50 years the risk to be killed by parents has declined due to abortion law, increased welfare and support for families.

In the last few years, the number of cases has nonetheless risen.

Kauppi says that mothers and fathers need more tangible help.

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