Dramatic situation in Sweden: “Rapes in Stockholm have increased by 20 percent” in 2019
In Sweden the rape situation has gotten so bad that Södersjukhuset hospital established a special emergency department for raped women. Also, of the rapes that do occur, only 5 percent result in the attacker being sentenced by a criminal court. Local politicians have called the development “unacceptable”.
According to a report by the Swedish news outlet Mitti, an average of five rapes happens each day in Stockholm. In the first half of 2019 alone, the Swedish capital has seen a total of 1,060 rapes, marking a 20 percent uptick from the 890 rapes that were recorded in the city during the same period last year.
The rape situation in Sweden has gotten so bad that Södersjukhuset hospital has been forced to establish a special emergency department for raped women. Close to 800 victims are treated there each year.
On top of the 1,060 rapes, 24 so-called “negligent rapes” were also reported in the first half of this year.
The offenses “negligent rape” and “negligent sexual abuse” were added to Sweden’s criminal code for “acts where courts found that consent had not been established, but in which the perpetrator had not intended to commit rape or assault,” The Local reports.
One year ago, Sweden introduced a law change that meant sex without explicit consent was considered as rape, including when the victim did not actively say ‘no’. The Local spoke to experts to find out the impact this has had on court cases and within Swedish society.
The law change meant that participants needed to clearly demonstrate that they wanted to engage in sexual activity in order for it to be considered consensual.
“I look extremely seriously at all the rapes. The increase is alarming,” Irene Svenonius of the liberal-conservative Moderate Party told journalists from Mitti.
“We know that the number of rape victims is significantly higher,” Svenonius added while calling for “strong and concerted efforts” to eliminate the problem.
In some cases, especially if the woman manages to escape from a sexual assault, the assault ends up not being classified as rape. In cases like these, the crime often is classified as an “unlawful threat” or “unlawful coercion”, reported Dagens Nyheter.
Many rapes go unreported and unpunished. Figures from Södersjukhuset hospital in Stockholm suggests that only 6 in 10 rape victims report the sexual assault to authorities. According to national broadcaster SVT, only five in one hundred reported rapes results in criminal sentencing.
Södersjukhuset hospital in Stockholm