Sweden tops European rape league
27 Apr 09
Sweden has the highest incidence of reported rapes in Europe - twice as many as "runner up" the UK, a new study shows.
Researchers behind the EU study, which will be presented on Tuesday, conclude that rape appears to be a more common occurrence in Sweden than in continental European countries.
In Sweden, 46 incidents of rape are reported per 100,000 residents.
This figure is double as many as in the UK which reports 23 cases, and four times that of the other Nordic countries, Germany and France. The figure is up to 20 times the figure for certain countries in southern and eastern Europe.
The study, which is financed by the Brussels-based EU fund Daphne II, compared how the respective judicial systems managed rape cases across eleven EU countries. Sweden is shown in an unfavourable light, according to the study.
The high figures in Sweden can not it seems be explained purely by an increased tendency to report rapes and other more minor sexual offences.
Rape simply appears to be a more common occurrence in Sweden than in the other EU countries studied, the researchers argue.
Over 5,000 rapes are reported in Sweden per annum while reports in other countries of a comparable size amounted to only a few hundred.
The figures can however be somewhat distorted as it is often only assault rapes by strangers and aggravated acquaintance rapes that are reported in many of these countries - as was the case in Sweden 40 years ago.
The high incidence of rape in Sweden has a strong connection to nightlife and partying, specifically after-club parties in private homes.
Early sexual debuts, high alcohol consumption, "free sexuality" and the "right to say no" quite simply results in more rapes, the study concludes.
The Daphne II fund ran from 2004-2008 and was set up by the European Parliament as a specific programme to prevent and combat violence against children, young people and women and to protect victims and groups at risk.
In 2007 Daphne III was launched to continue the work and is funded up to 2013.