Investigating Child Abuse in Finland – A Parent Perspective

This PhD project focuses on the parents’ experiences of the child abuse investigating processes. In Finland, almost all child abuse cases, including disciplinary violence, are considered as a crime and investigated by police. When investigating these cases, police can ask special expertise, such as interviewing children, from one of the five Finnish multi-professional Forensic Units for Children and Adolescents. In addition, the police investigation in child abuse cases is conducted always with the co-operation of the child protection agency.

The study aims to find out how parents experience this kind of a multi-professional and interdisciplinary investigation of a suspected sexual or physical abuse of their child. How people are treated in process led by authorities, matters on family life. Accordingly, the study explores the impact and consequences of the investigation process, both in family relations and relations between family members and authorities. Parents’ views should be considered when evaluating and improving existing legislation, policy and practices.

The theoretical perspectives of the study are the client oriented approach and the perspective of procedural justice in government of public affairs. Nationwide data is collected via narrative interviews and writings of the parents during 2016–2018. The study will be finished by the end of the year 2019 and is funded by the City of Tampere, Olvi-Foundation, Pirkanmaa Hospital District, State Research Funding, The Education Fund and the University of Tampere.


Photo: Jonne Renvall

The PhD study is conducted by
Essi Julin
+358 50 318 7701

Faculty of Social Sciences (SOC)
University of Tampere