During the first half of the year, there were 717 reports of serious assault involving children aged six or younger. This represented a 15 percent increase compared to the same period last year, according to the National Council for Crime Prevention (Brottsförebyggande rådet - Brå).
The number of reported cases increased fivefold in the period from 1988 (266 cases) to 2006 (1,315).
But the increase does not necessarily mean that more children are being subjected to assault.
Lotta Nilsson from the National Council for Crime Prevention believes that there is a greater tendency to report suspected child abuse now than there was in the eighties and nineties. This may be explained by the general public's increased awareness of problems associated with domestic violence, she said.