If you thought the #MeToo discussion that launched in October 2017 was big in the United States, you would be really impressed by its popularity in Sweden. Despite the increased discussion on sexual assault and rape, however, the Swedish government continues to disregard investigating increase in rape reports in Sweden.
The #MeToo phenomenon in Sweden not only sparked conversation among common Swedish women, but even became a driving force in Swedish politics. The conversation led to the Swedish government forming a new “gender equality authority” in December 2017 as well as installing tougher rape laws.
Sweden Radio, one of the most trusted news sources in Sweden that is funded by the government, recently published an article titled “Reported rapes up by 10% in Sweden.” The article noted comments from Stina Holmberg, a senior adviser at the National Council for Crime Prevention, who said reported crime is not reliable in determining actual increase in rape, therefore it is unknown if rape has actually increased in Sweden.
While it is true that reported crime does not mean the crime actually occurred, one should note that Holmberg did not provide further detail about the issue despite being a primary spokesperson with sophisticated knowledge.
Additionally the Swedish Radio article went on to note a common excuse to disregard increase in rape reports, which is “the broadened legal definition of rape brought in 2005.” Sweden’s legal definition of rape, despite having been installed over a decade ago, is often used to shut people up who inquire about rape increase in Sweden.
On a final note, the article also claims “the way reports are filed” can impact rape reports. What Sweden Radio conveniently fails to note is that Sweden’s forensic department has been backlogged due to a sudden increase in criminal reports altogether. The forensic department has had to allocate more time to serious crimes, such as murder, and has not had time to get to rape cases and determine whether rape did occur.
It appears the #MeToo movement in Sweden is a charade as government officials continue to disregard the increase in rape in Sweden.
Lauren Ell is an American blogger born and raised in Southern California and is currently based in Sweden. She discusses Epilepsy, Politics and Fun. Professionally Ell is an Online Marketing Consultant and Virtual Assistant. She is also founder and president of Republican Atheists. Connect with Lauren on Facebook and Twitter.