European countries hide a shocking number of rape cases
The beginning of 2016 in Denmark was marked by disturbing #News. The Danish Ministry of Justice revealed that the number of victims, which until 2014 was known as an average of 395 cases is actually much higher -- 1,100 per year. The huge difference is due to the fact that many cases were not classified by the police as rape. The Danish Crime Prevention Council revealed even bigger numbers and said that at least 2,800 rapes per year are committed.
Sweden possesses worrying statistics too. This is a Scandinavian country where rapes have increased by 1,742% since the seventies. Finland and Norway are two more in the group of Nordic countries where forced sexual intercourse is highly present. According to the statistics of United Nations’ Office on Drugs and Crime from 2012, the rape rate per 100,000 population is 22.3 in Norway and 18.7 in Finland. Belgium is the fifth European country with one of the highest rates of rape – a number of 28.1.
According to Rape Crisis, 85,000 women and 12,000 men are raped in a year in England and Wales. French newspaper Le Figaro wrote an analysis on the number of reported rape crimes, emphasizing a significant increase of 18% in five years. In 2015 the newspaper said that every single day 33 rapes are reported to the police.
Who bears the blame -- the rapist or the police?
The number of reported cases is not equal to the number of rapes that occur. Many victims conceal the horrific event for various reasons -- they are ashamed to reveal their traumas or they (and their families) were under threat, these individuals do not trust the system and the police for the simple fact that many claims of previous victims were rejected. Jury nullification is one more reason why victims don't report the crime. The Crime Prevention Council in Denmark said that seven out of ten reports get rejected by the police or the prosecutor before they ever get to court.
Another problem is the duration of imprisonment. Short or minimal prison sentence is well known in the Balkan countries too. According to research by BIRN, rapists in Montenegro serve an average prison sentence of two years and eight months. Macedonia and other Balkan countries have similar law enforcement, and many cases go unpunished or concealed.
Public services and private injustice
NGO's and human rights activists are fighting this type of crime, but that is not enough. As far as the public services -- the police conceal the facts and statistics, nothing is going to change. Hiding crimes with the purpose of showing society in a different dimension has crossed the border and untied the hands of criminals.