According to a recent report by the Swedish news outlet Mitt i, an average of five rapes happen each day in Stockholm, while just 5 percent of reported rapes result in the attacker being sentenced by a criminal court.
Local politicians have called this development “unacceptable”.
In the first half of 2019 alone, the Swedish capital has seen a total of 1,060 rapes. This astounding total marks a 20 percent uptick from the 890 rapes that were recorded in the city in the same period last 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.
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 said to be 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 journalists 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.
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.
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.
According to national broadcaster SVT, only five in one hundred reported rapes results in criminal sentencing.