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Swedish sex crimes up over a third since sex purchase outlawed.

by on January 5, 2009
FIGURES from BRA, the Swedish National Council for Crime Prevention, show a hefty rise in sex crimes since Sweden outlawed the purchase of sex.

The figure hovered around 9,000 a year when the controversial law was adopted, but its latest stats show it has now soared to 12,100 12,600 a year. Some increase in reporting may have affected the figures, but an increase in criminal activity is likely, says BRA.

The figures include rape, sexual molestation and sexual coercion. Thirty percent of victims are under 15.

When Tokyo banned brothels 50 years ago, sex crime rocketed 125% in the following four months (scan down here).

UPDATE January 6: Latest info from BRA  shows the rocketing sex crime rate continued through 2007, now standing at 12,600 a year – 40% up on that at the point the new law was adopted.

“Almost 12,600 sex crimes were reported in 2007, which represents an increase of three per cent by comparison with the number reported in 2006. There was an increase in the number of reported rape offences, which rose by 13 percent to 4,750. In contrast, the number of reported crimes of sexual coercion, exploitation etc. decreased by eight per cent by comparison with the figure for 2006.”

England + Wales rape figures also show an increase since the Swedish law was adopted – but in the last two years they have fallen a total 13 percent.

From → Sweden

  1. Gregory Carlin permalink

    So the demand side in Sweden were sex offenders to begin with?

    Gregory Carlin

  2. Twiss Butler permalink

    Researcher Kathleen Barry responded to the claim that if men can’t go to prostitutes they will rape with the observation: Why do we set aside a certain population of women for rapists to use?

    And that goes for “British red-blooded male” too.

    Those who buy into the stock prediction that prostitution will be “driven underground” by laws targeting users should consider what life is like above ground for women in legal prostitution by looking at the Victoria (Aus) website that offers “Safety Tips For Escort Workers”

    Sweden’s experience is simply telling the truth reflected in its humane law – that prostitution is violence against women.

  3. Who, where, “set(s) aside a certain population of women for rapists to use”? Isn’t the claim that what we are told is 10% of the UK male population – the proportion said to have hired sex workers – are rapists somewhat ridiculous?

    Are we expected to view the tanning of Max Mosley’s behind as as an instance of violence against women?

    an instance of violence against women?

    What of all the prostitution not involving women at all, some say as much as a fifth, is that violence against women?

    Is it at least possible that some men in Sweden, having had too many lagers or whatever in an evening, who would otherwise have hired a street sex worker and had concensual sex for Kroner, turned to rape of a non-sex worker instead?

    I would suggest this is at least possible, and may go some way to explaining the Swedish increase in reported rapes. No doubt other factors were at work too, but I think their sex industry law is at least a factor.

  4. antiplondon permalink

    The BRA doesn’t make any judgements about where the extra sexual violence is coming from or why, and your speculations are not backed up by the report in any way.

    There may well be a back-lash of sexual violence against women in Sweden as a result of the change in the laws, but that doesn’t justify an acceptance of prostitution. If the prostituted woman your putative ‘drunk on a night out’ would have gone to before was trafficked, or controlled by a pimp, that would have been rape as well.

    Also, 30% of the victims are under 15, the only under 15’s your drunk is going to come into contact with after a night out are likely to be prostituted children, so your whole ‘drunk who just couldn’t control him self, but would have gone to a prostitute before’ scenario doesn’t really add up. That men rape because they ‘can’t control themselves’ is one of many rape myths perpetuated to let men who rape off the hook.

    And isn’t one of the criticisms of the ‘Swedish model’ coming from you people that it doesn’t actually work, that there are just as many street workers now as there were before the law? So your drunk, then, must have just as many opportunities to pay for sex on the street now as before the change in the law.

    Your use of examples of male prostitution and ‘high class’ dominatrix sex work is entirely a red herring, and proves nothing about the conditions or the subjective experience of the women who are used in ‘regular’ prostitution, especially those involved in street work, which I think we all can agree is the most dangerous form of prostitution; you may as well try to use the experiences of a Paris fashion designer to discuss the experiences of the workers in a third world sweat shop.

    Interestingly, the BRA has another report up on its site, “Sex-linked human trafficking in Sweden mapped”

    The summery on the web site includes the following paragraphs:

    “One problem with sex-linked human trafficking is that many have a skewed picture of what it looks like, and therefore do not recognize the problem. Many think of visible violence, or of women locked up in flats. The reality is different, and the coercion is much more subtle. The sellers are keen to make the women appear as self-confident, independent businesswomen to the sex buyers, as the sellers know that the sex buyers would not like to participate in trafficking.

    “The abuse is expressed in a different way. The women do not know the language, and cannot make themselves understood, they have no contact with Swedish society and they cannot find their way about, as they do not know where they are, they become indebted to the organizers and thus completely dependent on them”

    To be honest, I think they’re being overly generous about the johns.

    The full report is available on pdf:

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

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