Sweden: Officials Warn of 'Alarming Increase' of Rapes in Stockholm
2019 sees massive 20 percent rise in recorded rapes over last year
Sweden's capital Stockholm has seen a massive rise in recorded rapes this year, with a staggering 20 percent increase over 2018, according to reports.
A new report by Swedish news outlet Mitt i reveals that, on average, there are now five rapes occurring every day in Stockholm.
The Swedish city has recorded a total of 1,060 rapes in the first half of 2019 alone, marking a huge uptick from the 890 rapes reported during the same period last year.
Of all the reported rapes, only five percent of them lead to the attacker's conviction in a criminal court.
Local officials say the figures “unacceptable” and are calling for "strong" action.
24 so-called “negligent rapes” were also reported, on top of the 1,060 rapes, in the first half of this year.
“Negligent rape” and “negligent sexual abuse” are newly-labeled offenses that were recently added to Sweden’s criminal code.
These crimes are described as “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.
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.
“I look extremely seriously at all the rapes. The increase is alarming,” Irene Svenonius of the liberal-conservative Moderate Party told reporters from Mitt i.
“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 Sweden, many rapes go unreported and unpunished, however.
Figures from Södersjukhuset hospital in Stockholm suggest that only 6 in 10 victims of rape report the sexual assault to authorities.
In some cases, the attack may end up not being classified as rape, especially if the woman manages to escape from a sexual assault.
In such cases, the crime is often recorded as an “unlawful threat” or “unlawful coercion,” reported Dagens Nyheter.
Only five in one hundred reported rapes results in criminal sentencing, according to national broadcaster SVT.