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"Castrate rapists" says Swedish politician

Published: 16 Aug 2005 19:28 GMT+02:00
Updated: 16 Aug 2005 19:28 GMT+02:00

Kristina Axén Olin, who is also the chairman of the Stockholm's police board, has suggested that rapists should be castrated.

"A great number of rapes would be avoided if the government introduced chemical castration as a punishment for repeat offenders," she told Dagens Nyheter.

"There are a number of dangerous people who would be helped by compulsory medication which removed the risk that they would commit more crimes."

In June and July the number of outdoor rapes reported in Stockholm alone reached 30 and over the weekend two more women were attacked.

In Haninge a man is still on the loose after brutally raping a woman near the station, while Södertälje police have picked up a 26 year old man who is suspected of raping a woman in her twenties on Sunday night.

Despite the rapid rise in attacks, Kristina Axén Olin was quickly criticised for her radical suggestion, despite her assertion that she had read reports which show that "it 100% works".

"Then she's sitting there with more knowledge than those of us who work with this," said Niklas Långström, a researcher at the centre for the prevention of violence at the Karolinska Institute.

Currently, chemical castration is applied on a voluntary basis and only in combination with psychiatric therapy. The effect of the anti-androgen medicine which is used is moderate and can be reversed with anabolic steroids.

Nevertheless, Långström told DN that compulsory treatment would be problematic.

"To force people into medical treatment is more complicated than that. The side effects can be powerful - some men can develop breasts, put on weight and produce breast milk."

Sources: Dagens Nyheter

Paul Rapacioli (paul.rapacioli@thelocal.com)

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