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'Make accused rapists prove consent': experts

TT/The Local · 7 May 2009, 07:07

Published: 07 May 2009 07:07 GMT+02:00

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In recent years, the number of reported rapes in Sweden has been steadily increasing, but a similar rise in rape convictions hasn’t been forthcoming.

Eva Diesen, a lawyer and researcher, and Christian Diesen, a professor of criminal law at Stockholm University, have followed up on around 1,200 rape reports and presented their results in a report due this week entitled Övergrepp mot kvinnor och barn (‘Attacks against women and children’).

Since 1965, when Sweden first enacted a sex crimes law, roughly 100 to 200 rapists have been convicted every year.

However, the number of rapes reported annually has increased from around 300 to more than 5,000.

Many of the reports are written off because they boil down to he-said-she-said disputes, writes the Dagens Nyheter (DN) newspaper.

Diesen is convinced that it’s not only the number of reported rapes, but also the number of crimes, which is increasing.

The victims are also getting younger, with the median age of date-rape victims sinking from 27- to 22-years-old during the last decade.

Rape should be classified as a violation of personal integrity, rather than a violent crime, according to the researchers.

The way the law looks now, women are sexually available until they say no or put up resistance.

Story continues below…

A law based instead on a requirement for consent, would those not require evidence of violence or threats.

Rather, a man would have to show that he had done something to ensure he had the woman’s consent, according to Diesen.

TT/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

08:56 May 7, 2009 by peropaco
Admirable; finally we will see some actions taking on the rape epidemic in Sweden. Still, the propose law doesnt go far enough as it only mention that a man need to prove consent . What about those old froggie, cellulite looking women preying on young boys. Isnt that considered rape as well?
09:25 May 7, 2009 by Kaethar
Admirable?! Disgusting!

We follow "innocent until proven guilty" in Sweden, not "guilty until proven innocent." I can see it already. Dislike someone? Tell the police he raped you and he can't do anything to disprove it. There's no evidence and it's her word against his - her word will always win. Wtf?!

How long have these people been studying law?
09:50 May 7, 2009 by zeero
"Rape should be classified as violation of personal privacy, rather than a violent crime, according to the researchers" - Rape is a violent crime! simple as that. And I can see how the "rape certificate" industry is gonna built from that law.... First someone will rape someone else and then walk to the near "photo rape" shop to print her consent... Come on... When she/he say no! it's no! and when she/he say yes no one need a written approval...

The problem in SE is that they have no idea how to handle rape cases... The rising number of rapes is due to cultural issues... NY in the 80 had the same problem... but in SE they know the best and God NO, They will never look outside of the box to see the real problems and how to solve them...

Add to that the punishment system for rapes... and you see why the numbers are so hight...
10:02 May 7, 2009 by bocale1
Rape is a crime that may imply different level of violence (from psychological to physical and at various level of extents). And, as for all crimes, people are supposed to be innocent until is proven the opposite. And, once one person is found guilty, he/she should be punished severely. No reason to invent bizarre definition ("violation of personal privacy"???), no reason to destroy one of the basis of the modern legal systems ("innocent until proven guilty"!). Just stick to the good sense and make it work what today is not efficient enough (police investigations and penalties applied to rapists). And then, as for all crimes, initiate and stress cultural activities to prevent those acts... but this a different (and more long term) matter.
11:14 May 7, 2009 by dtes
I am a male and i think this is a damn good idea, i have seen way too many rapos go free here.
11:21 May 7, 2009 by Dazzler
I have to side with you on this one. I guess before laying down the meatpipe you will need a Certificate Of Premeditated Entry or C.O.P.E card as I will now call it.

It makes no sense to enact stupid laws to cover for inept law enforcement.
11:37 May 7, 2009 by Princess P
I think it's a great idea. Just a few things to clafify though. How long before the act should consent be sought? At the beginning of the evening when both parties are sober? At the same time as reaching for a condom? How long would it be valid for? 1 night only? A week or month? Perhaps it should specify the exact time, to avoid confusion. Also, if consent is given, what happens if the woman changes her mind in between signing and getting to the bedroom? And finally, will it have to be witnessed by an independent person in accordance with other legal docs? Possibly a magistrate or other suitably qualified person.
11:41 May 7, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
Excellent post Princess. There's a minefield of problems here.

Rape is so complex from a legal perspective, I'm beginning to think a change in attitudes rather than law is the only way to reduce it.
12:06 May 7, 2009 by Blazek
This is absurd. How exactly would you prove consent in your last sexual encounter?
12:29 May 7, 2009 by badgerknox
Yes, how exactly would you prove sexual consent. Do I need to ask my wife to fill out a form every time I want to have sex? They tried that in some campuses back in the early 90s in some very liberal Universities in America. Needless to say, the idea was not practical.
12:29 May 7, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
How can you prove you didn't coerce her into signing the consent form?
12:43 May 7, 2009 by Princess P
Easy. I already have that covered. It has to be witnessed by someone independent. Perhaps her solicitor?
12:49 May 7, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
I haven't got a solicitor, and I can't afford one. Spose I might as well join a convent.
13:35 May 7, 2009 by Random Guy
....so to be safe, a guy always must have sex with 2 girls in sweden from now on, that way the one can tell the judge the other said it was ok.

what a country.....
14:12 May 7, 2009 by 7
do we have some awesome swiss tuna of tom here?
14:28 May 7, 2009 by Kaethar
I think this has always been the case, but changing attitudes is not easy. From the victims viewpoint a decrease in alcohol will probably help (since many many rape victims whose rapists don't get charged were drunk at the time and didn't fight back). But addiction to alcohol in socialising is almost as difficult a problem to solve as the legal aspect of rape. And how do you change the attitude of the potential rapists? I think they should focus on studying why the rapists in Sweden rape. Lack of sex (remember prostitution is illegal in Sweden), depression, repressed anger, hate of women? Maybe there's external factors which can be worked on...
15:38 May 7, 2009 by MorbidMiss
I do not believe that lack of sex is reason enough for the act of rape. I think it has more to do with attitudes towards women, and the perceived need to show power over them. If you take what you want even if they say no, that means you are in charge right?

Sweden's punishments for Sexual Assault and Child Molestation are in all honesty, pathetic. There is practically no deterrent to commit the crime, you probably will not be caught. If you are caught you will get a lighter sentence than the guys from Pirate Bay, and after you get out you can just move somewhere else and no one will be the wiser.

It is ridiculous that in a country where everyone's financial records are public fodder, that people are not allowed to be made aware that there is a sexual predator living next door.
15:53 May 7, 2009 by stupr
"....so to be safe, a guy always must have sex with 2 girls in sweden from now on, that way the one can tell the judge the other said it was ok"

ha ha ha...... I will aim for this from now on.

On a serious note, I think this is going too far. The government should concentrate on prevention and a change of attitute rather than changing the law.
16:03 May 7, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
I'm really very very positive that men do not rape women because they aren't getting any or because they drink too much. It's a far more complex psychological issue than fancying a bit and being too ugly to pull, and quite honestly I regard men who claim it's a lack of sex issue as being potentially dangerous to society. Because I can only assume they think that's what they'd do if they weren't getting sex.
19:09 May 7, 2009 by Weekend_warrior
I think it is a step in the right direction. Its about time someone takes a look at the law. No doubt this idea will get restructured so its not so much a guilty until proven innocent.

If I really wanted something done, I would have waited til Sweden takes the Presidency of the EU this summer...and then ask them in front of the whole world, about their pathetic rape statistics. Or perhaps their opinion on the high correlation between non-western immigration and a rise in crime including sexual assaults.

I do think the state of Louisiana had it right when they decided the Death Penalty was suitable to rape of children under 12. Than the stupid Federal Government said you can't execute for crimes that aren't murder. Oh well....one day.
14:39 May 8, 2009 by Vidyadhara
@zeero: Well, they're not going to get into the cultural aspect (political correctness) and few people understand that rape is about power, not sex.

@Princess P: Her solictor is the state (which has the legal monopoly on female sexuality).

@WeekendWarrior: It is the RIGHT step, but it is in the WRONG direction.
14:41 May 8, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
The state has the legal monopoly on female sexuality? Whaa? Is there a whole new set of forms I need to be filling in, perhaps some kind of Orgasmverket or similar of which I had no previous knowledge?
16:24 May 8, 2009 by mag
they need to put the sentance for rape to life in prison then people would stop doing it.

And if a muslim does it stone him
16:55 May 8, 2009 by Kaethar
That's making an assumption. Rape is usually about power but not always. Like I said, a study should be done to truly give us the answers and the state shouldn't keep on "guessing" what the problem behind the rapes is.

That's the problem. You will probably not be caught because of aforementioned reasons. It's difficult convicting a rapist. I hardly think the problem is how long the jail sentence is. The problem is that rapists aren't convicted in the first place.

Rape sentences are not light - you're speaking from a foreigner's viewpoint. Like I've said - Sweden's system focuses on rehabilitation rather than punishment. People who make mistakes should have a second chance. Hanging them out on the internet is certainly not a way to do this. There's the risk that they'll be discriminated against or abused.

They should really tell us how many of those convicted of rape have been accused of rape again. I'm guessing the number is quite low.

That's your opinion. And the drinking bit referred to the victim, not the rapist. It is far easier to rape a drunk man/woman of course and since they can't resist properly resist/remember details/or whatever the rapists hardly ever get convicted (unless there is physical evidence of violence).

This is a stab at me, I take it. As a note, I'm female.
16:59 May 8, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
It's not my opinion per se as I've never met anyone who has admitted raping, so I'd find it hard to say. It's the widely held opinion of psychologists that rape is a crime of violence rather than sex.

Fair point about the drinking though, I misunderstood you.
17:24 May 8, 2009 by Kaethar
I know psychologists say that, but I don't see it as the absolute truth. It could also only be part of the motive with rapists acting on several different factors. My point was that accused rapists in Sweden should be questioned for their motives so we can get a greater overview of the problem.

And ok. But like I said, stopping the Swedish drinking culture might be even more difficult. But since many Nordics share this drinking culture it doesn't explain the rate of rapes. So it would only partly solve the problem anyway... so we really need to focus more on the rapists and their motive.
17:27 May 8, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
Well I got very confused about that "massive rapes in Sweden" article, it didn't really make sense to me. Sweden's drinking culture is not worse than that in the UK, and Sweden has fewer Eeevil Immigrants than the UK. I suspect it's the definition in law. Sweden defines "having a wänk in view of a neighbour" as sexual molestation, for crying out loud.
17:38 May 8, 2009 by Kaethar
Yep, this is definitely a part of it as someone on this thread already mentioned. And they need to find out how big a part of it it is.
18:07 May 8, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
Most civilised legal systems work on the basis of a presumption of innocence, "innocent until proven guilty". Any attempt to place the burden of proof onto the accused means that Sweden would be throwing out the most basic of human rights and making it a case of "guilty until proven innocent"!!!

Certainly the way things are now is a problem and something must be done, but this is not the solution.

Don't forget that whilst rape may in many/some cases be a "power thing" which is certainly wrong, there are also plenty of documented cases of "cry rape" by the "victims" to get back at someone.

Is it right to rape someone??? is it right to put an innocent person in prison??? I say no to both!

Sweden has a history of putting in to law things that are not well thought out because it is on someone's ideological agenda and I guess this will be sadly no different.
18:26 May 8, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
and yet it is not illegal for that neighbour to peer through your window videoing the said (http://www.thelocal.se/5501/20061114/)
08:21 May 9, 2009 by ameribrit
How about we at least start by treating rape as the SERIOUS violent crime that it is and then let's get the Polis to actually investigate the crime. The polis in Sweden seem to think that police work is just driving around keeping safe. (See Rosengård story). That and setting up nice safe road checkspoints.
12:12 May 9, 2009 by Jamtjim
What a fantastic idea!

Now we can push up the conviction rates by making it harder for innocent men to defend themselves....

Of course no woman would ever falsely accuse a man of raping her; they are all sweet and lovely without an iota of vindictiveness at all.

Maybe we should also allow people to be convicted of murder even though no ones been killed... the accused would have to prove conclusively that they have never killed anyone or face prison.

Or maybe everyone should be sent to prison untill they can prove that they have never raped, killed, stolen etc....

A stupid suggestion made by idiots and intended for morons....
20:25 May 9, 2009 by MorbidMiss
The answer to that is very simple. If it is proven that someone lied about being raped, put them in jail.

That being said I do not believe this "prove consent" idea has any merit. The problem is more lack of police work and lack of sufficient punishment. When it comes to Sex Crimes, Sweden is a joke. A very cruel, base joke.
22:38 May 9, 2009 by Greg in Canada
I wonder which radical feminist group came up with this idea?

Rape is a crime, and rapists should be punished, but trying to make it "guilty until proven innocent" as an exception to the norm or the legal system is ridiculous.

Stupid idea. Really stupid in fact.
23:47 May 9, 2009 by 7
i had wondered which idiot would ask such an ignorant question.
09:36 May 10, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
How do you figure this out?

It seems that most posts here are fully supportive of the victims who mostly are women. We just don't want a law that is poorly thought out and against the general principle of the presumption of innocence. To want a law that WILL put innocent people behind bars with those people being men, seems a very misandry attitude to me.
21:31 May 10, 2009 by Gilherns
Raping is a big crime. It should be punished.

Point here is that every drunk blondie you see on a Friday/saturday morning is ready to give a pass at any stranger just for the fun of it, and then makes a 360 degrees turn when sobre to call 911 and say she has been raped.

Let these blondies stop getting stupid drunk in the first place, and they will have a case against mutual consent that proves their rape charge.

Swedish girls will never say hello to strangers when sobber, but when drunk, they get frivolosly social and give themselves up..so who is to blame>????

both of them may be drunk, so they should blame themselves for what happened ...

How come Systembolaget controls alcohol sales and yet we see so many under aged girls and boys reeling dead drunk along the streets??

09:54 May 11, 2009 by DidiE
Swedish girls will never say hello to strangers when sobber, but when drunk, they get frivolosly social and give themselves up..so who is to blame>????

Oh, it's definitely the woman's fault. When I get frivolously social and give myself up, I deserve everything I get. Having one drink too many in a public bar, during Girl's Night Out, SHOULD result in my being raped. Absolutely. Poor men just can't control themselves over my blondie lusciousness. I really should be home repairing my clothing where it got torn from the last beating you gave me cos the fried chicken was cold. Sorry, boss, I will NEVER do that again.
19:35 May 11, 2009 by nic_tester
DidiE, when people get silly drunk they sometimes end up in bed together and regret it afterwards. If you shift the burden of proof to the defendent you would get alot of rapeconvictions just because some people regret what they did last night. I mean seriously, look at the general debate in sweden, its ALWAYS some1 elses fault and everybody is a victim. Swedes have a serious problem taking responsibility for their actions. This is THE country that would abuse such a law in absurdum, imho.
19:37 May 11, 2009 by DidiE
And men who have sex with drunken women who are not able to consent should not have any responsibility to shove off and find a sober, consenting partner? Come on.
19:45 May 11, 2009 by Gilherns

Dont get me wrong...I said its the fault of both of them......cos they may both be drunk.. the fact that the man doesnt call 911 after the act to express his remorse over the fact that he got lured into an act of consent in their drunk state doesnt make the man a rapist and the blondie a victim.

Sometimes those who judge these cases see beyond what we see..and when they pass judgement that doesnt punish the man society goes haywire and cries FOUL...

Think it out and maybe you shall see it in a different light..BOTTOM line is rapist should be punished..but consent that gets reported as rape without taking into consideration what remorse a guy feels for being lured into the act is WRONG...
19:45 May 11, 2009 by Jamtjim
Just a thought, but if this becomes law, couldnt a man accused of rape in turn accuse the woman of raping him. Then she would have to prove consent as well.

Assuming they actually did have sex and neither of them could prove it was consentual, surely both parties would have to be convicted of raping each other...
19:55 May 11, 2009 by VikingHumpingWitch
Yeah well she's clearly asking to be raped then, the drunken blonde slut.

Jesus effin Christ, have I been transported back to the 1970s?
20:10 May 11, 2009 by Gilherns

I think the issue here is because rape is generally considered a gender( male against female) problem.

I have heard boys who claim they were raped, and I chided them for not calling 911 to state their claim...We all know this happens to boys and girls in the name of rape and it is WRONG....But I feel no sympathy for someone giving of themselves in a consensual environment & then turning around to shout RAPE!
20:17 May 11, 2009 by Jamtjim
I am a normally built guy, but there is a woman who goes to my gym who I have no doubt could rape me if she wanted to. Not that I'm saying that she wants to although I have seen her stroking her beard in a flirtatious way towards me....
21:34 May 11, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh
And what if the guy is just as drunk as the girl??

Perhaps the girl has regrets or needs a good cover story for her boyfriend/husband then it is a easy way to save her relationship by "crying rape". If neither remember the evening then the guy has no chance of proving consent. If the judge and prosecutor want follow the proposed law by the book then the guy is screwed.
22:19 May 11, 2009 by Gilherns
Here is what rape is:

Aggressive assault by either male of female on the other ,resulting in forced intercourse that leaves the raped party emotionally scarred . Such victims will not even venture to go to placesor indulge in activities that remind them of the event.

For a drunken person to say he/she was raped while in stupor & return another friday night even more drunk than ever is an open solliciation for a repeat of events which they LOVE..and that is REVERSED rape..such people who make themselves victims of rape surely have something they want to dish out to others

Be warned when last week's rape "victims" resurface to Victimize more people into their plight....

Watch the TV and U shall see women and men in war torn areas who have been raped over and over by soldiers...here we see no consent, we see aggression, and such victims beg to run away from their captors..

But when a victim dresses up to go meet his/her fate and get screwed..That is not RAPE
22:28 May 11, 2009 by Renfeh Hguh

Because we disagree with an unjust law proposal to solve an injustice?
15:17 April 19, 2011 by CokoSwede
This is such goddam rubbish.


Men get drunk too. There must be thousands of Swedish men who have been raped by Swedish women.

Fact Two:

The Swedish government is full of communists and feminists. This is no joke and I say Be Warned.

Fact Three:

Misandry (hate of men) is On the Rise.
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