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CRIME

Sweden tops European rape league – but that doesn’t tell the whole story

Sweden has the highest incidence of reported rapes in Europe - twice as many as "runner up" the UK, a new study shows. But the figures don't tell the whole story, says the professor who led the study.

In Sweden, 46 incidences of rape are reported per 100,000 residents, according to the EU study. 

This figure is twice as high as in the UK, where 23 cases are reported per 100,000 residents, 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.

“There is not one single explanation for the high figures,” lead professor Liz Kelly told the TT news agency.

“People are better at reporting [rape] here than elsewhere, the definition of what constitutes rape has become broader, and there is a greater willingness among Swedish women to report rape in relationships.” 

“In order to ascertain whether the real incidence is higher, more research is required,” said Professor Kelly. 

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. 

More than 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 are however distorted by the fact that in many countries only assault rapes by strangers and aggravated rapes by people known to the victims are reported – as was the case in Sweden 40 years ago.

Many of the reported rapes were linked to nightlife and partying, specifically after-club parties in private homes. Most victims were young, and half had consumed alcohol. 

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.

Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that “rape simply appears to be a more common occurrence in Sweden than in the other EU countries studied, the researchers argue.” This was a direct translation from Swedish news agency TT, which later amended its original article to include clarifications from Professor Liz Kelly.  

The headline has been updated to reflect these clarifications. 

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HEALTH

Swedish opposition proposes ‘rapid tests for ADHD’ to cut gang crime

The Moderate Party in Stockholm has called for children in so called "vulnerable areas" to be given rapid tests for ADHD to increase treatment and cut gang crime.

Swedish opposition proposes 'rapid tests for ADHD' to cut gang crime

In a press release, the party proposed that treating more children in troubled city areas would help prevent gang crime, given that “people with ADHD diagnoses are “significantly over-represented in the country’s jails”. 

The idea is that children in so-called “vulnerable areas”, which in Sweden normally have a high majority of first and second-generation generation immigrants, will be given “simpler, voluntary tests”, which would screen for ADHD, with those suspected of having the neuropsychiatric disorder then put forward for proper evaluations to be given by a child psychiatrist. 

“The quicker you can put in place measures, the better the outcomes,” says Irene Svenonius, the party’s leader in the municipality, of ADHD treatment, claiming that children in Sweden with an immigrant background were less likely to be medicated for ADHD than other children in Sweden. 

In the press release, the party said that there were “significant differences in the diagnosis and treatment of ADHD within Stockholm country”, with Swedish-born children receiving diagnosis and treatment to a higher extent, and with ADHD “with the greatest probability” underdiagnosed in vulnerable areas. 

At a press conference, the party’s justice spokesman Johan Forsell, said that identifying children with ADHD in this areas would help fight gang crime. 

“We need to find these children, and that is going to help prevent crime,” he said. 

Sweden’s climate minister Annika Strandhäll accused the Moderates of wanting to “medicate away criminality”. 

Lotta Häyrynen, editor of the trade union-backed comment site Nya Mitten, pointed out that the Moderates’s claim to want to help children with neuropsychiatric diagnoses in vulnerable areas would be more credible if they had not closed down seven child and youth psychiatry units. 

The Moderate Party MP and debater Hanif Bali complained about the opposition from left-wing commentators and politicians.

“My spontaneous guess would have been that the Left would have thought it was enormously unjust that three times so many immigrant children are not getting a diagnosis or treatment compared to pure-Swedish children,” he said. “Their hate for the Right is stronger than their care for the children. 

Swedish vocab: brottsförebyggande – preventative of crime 

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