More rapes than ever in Gothenburg

(Translation of article for October 25, 2006)

GOTHENBURG. The number of reported rapes is higher than ever in Gothenburg. Right now there are so many cases that the police lack time to investigate them all - though at the same time more cases lead to prosecution.

"We are forced to set tough priorities," says Christina Lycke-Alhbin, assistant manager of the investigation department.

Never before have the police in Gothenburg had this many ongoing rape investigations. They are now working with about 60 reports where the perpetrator is known. There are in addition a large number of cases with an unknown perpetrator.

"There is an increase, that's easily observed," says Christina Lycke-Alhbin.

She thinks the increase is caused by more people reporting assaults and because the law has changed to classify more crimes as rape. To get support after a rape, many women contact various women's shelters.

Women in panic calls

Mariana Wallin works in a non-profit women's shelter in Kungsbacka. Lately she has noticed a clear increase in the number of calls from assaulted women. According to her, many women call in a panic, wanting to talk to someone.

"They usually feel very bad and are ashamed. Many think it is their fault," says Mariana Wallin, and continues: "One 20 year old woman got picked up by a man she met in a pub. When she didn't want to have sex with him he got mad and raped her."

Better technology

To have time to solve all crimes the police are now working with new methods to make the investigations better and more effective. That means less time passes before prosecution.

"That's because, among other things, reports are filed quicker and we have better technology, but also because there is better education regarding interrogation and medical examination," says Christina Lycke-Alhbin.

If it happens to you:

Immediately go to a hospital to get the damages documented. Seek support at a women's shelter in Gothenburg. For example the women's shelters in Kungsbacka and support center Beda.

- By Karin Fyrlund and Frida Sjödin