Monday, March 06, 2017

Sweden roundup: Another weekend of gang-rapes and sexual violence, police forensics so understaffed suspects walk free

Several Swedish women and girls have this weekend become the victim of gang rapes, rapes, and other forms of sexual violence. Increasingly, girls and women are publicly questioning the ‘normality’ of the harassment that for many of them seems to virtually have become a part of daily life.
Linköping: young woman stabbed, gang-raped
In Linköping, a 25-year-old woman was yesterday dragged away by two unknown men to a wooded area near the local university. She was subsequently stabbed and gang-raped by the attackers, who have not been caught by police yet.
A passer-by found the crying victim, who was bleeding from cutting wounds. According to daily Aftonbladet, a similar sex attack recently took place in the same area in Linköping.
The woman managed to give a description of the assailants, but police are scarce with details. “We’re not presenting the information yet since it could negatively affect the investigation,” a law enforcement spokesman commented. The victim has been treated for her wounds in a hospital.
Stockholm: young woman raped near school
Stockholm police are investigating the rape, also committed last Sunday, of a woman in her early twenties near a school in the city centre, Expressen reports.
The authorities are secretive on details of the sex attack, that took place in the early morning hours on the schoolyard of King’s Gymnasium. Forensic detectives have sealed off the place and are looking for traces of the crime. No arrest has yet been made in the case, police have stated.

Harassment at the dance floor
Tess Bengtsson, a 20-year-old Swedish woman (pictured above), on Friday posted an open letter on her Facebook page to the men who had groped her and two of her friends a few days before during a night out in Halmstad.
When Bengtsson and the other young women were dancing in a crowd, several men systematically harassed them, even after the victims had repeatedly signalled to the attackers that they were not interested.
“Maybe you just don’t care how we feel about this kind of thing, or you were simply enjoying yourself. To be macho and treat girls anyway you want. (…) We felt uncomfortable and humiliated, so we left, but then decided to go back inside again, so you wouldn’t be the ones to decide on when our evening should end.”
But once back inside, Bengtsson writes, things turned even more violent when one of her friends was strangled by one of the perpetrators.
“Our evening ended there and in tears, how did yours? (…) Many of us don’t even react to sexual harassment anymore. It happens everywhere, anytime, all the time. We have to constantly be on our guard and beware of you guys who experience things differently. And it’s never our fault that you do.”
Prosecutors demand action
One of the factors hampering investigations into sex crimes and other felonies is the inertia of the forensic divisions of the police. According to Sveriges Radio, several hundred of the country’s prosecutors are dissatisfied with the detectives’ work, a recent survey has proved. Sweden’s National Forensic Center (NFC) sometimes needs more than a year for a DNA analysis, while offenders go free.
“The problem is approaching the size of legal scandal,” one of the commenting prosecutors said, while another stated that “serious criminals are set free because we’re awaiting the response of the NFC.”
‘Mosul safer than Stockholm’
Magda Gad, a female Swedish war correspondent, may exaggerate just a little when she recently stated that, at least for women, the Iraqi city of “Mosul is safer than Stockholm.” (Mosul is still partly occupied by the Islamic State.)
“There is no law on the veil here, and it’s quieter to go out as a woman than it is in Stockholm. No one bothers you when you walk the streets, it’s very calm.”

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