Fewer Danish children subjected to physical violence at home

Numbers are down, but one in six children report that being slapped around is a part of their life

One out of six Danish children – some 17 percent – have been subjected to physical violence in their home during the past year, according to a report from the national centre for social research, Det Nationale Forskningscenter for Velfærd (SFI).

The numbers, which are based on the responses of 2,000 8th graders, show a slight decrease on 2010, but the report declined to suggest they constitute “a lasting trend”.

“It may suggest that society’s norms and opinions on violence against children are affecting the behaviour of parents with regards to violence,” wrote SFI in the report.

Stress a factor
Families already under stress, or children perceive themselves as academically weak, are at a greater risk of experiencing violence, according to the report.

Karen Ellemann, the social and interior minister, focused on the numbers in the report that revealed that 12 percent of the abused children never or almost never have anyone to talk to about it.

“For me, the report strongly underlines that adults have a duty to always act on suspicions of domestic violence,” Ellemann told Metroxpress.

“I emphasise to educators and other professionals how important it is to react if you sense that a child or young person is not thriving.”

Verbal abuse as well
According to the study, almost every 12th child suffers verbal and psychological abuse from parents. Example include being called “stupid” and “ugly” or being threatened with eviction from their home.

READ MORE: Danish children calling suicide hotline more frequently

The report also underlines that many of the young people exposed to violence in the past year have had violence in their lives for a longer period of time.