it's a lie to say that cases of rape & sexual assault rose in sweden due to refugees
Swedish born People Before Profit Councillor Madeleine Johansson writes to debunk these myths
Sexual violence in Sweden - the facts
There are some people online making arguments about refugees and rape, using Sweden as an
As a Swedish socialist it angers me that facts about my home country are being distorted to suit a
So, I thought it's time to take on the argument.
Are refugees responsible for an increase in rape in Sweden?
The short answer is no. There has been an increase in reported rapes however, and here's why.
There were changes in legislation in terms of sexual assault and rape in 2005, 2013 and 2018.
From 2005 some crimes that would have been previously labelled sexual assault were classified as
From 2013 instances where a person is incapable of giving consent (such as under the influence of
alcohol or drugs) were classified as rape.
In 2018 the laws around consent changed to active consent, that means that any sexual act where
active consent has not been given will be considered rape.
On top of the changes in legislation the #MeToo movement has led to an increase in reported sexual
assaults. Victims of rape are more likely to come forward than they were before.
For all these reasons there has been an increase in reported sexual assaults and rape in Sweden.
How do we know that these are not committed by refugees?
Sweden doesn't record a perpetrators' place of birth in crime statistics but if these crimes were
committed by refugees it would show as a disproportionate increase in areas that have accepted large
numbers of refugees. This is not the case.
According to the Crime Prevention Agency the council areas that took in high numbers of refugees in
recent years do not show a higher number of reported rape cases.
This means that there is no link between refugees and sexual assaults.
What is very clear in statistics is that victims of rape and sexual abuse are most likely to be abused by
a partner, ex-partner, or someone they know. In 2021 three quarters of all rapes were committed by a
person known to the victim.
These cases were also the ones that increased the most in terms of reported cases of rape between
2011-2017. This is most likely because victims are more likely to come forward since the issues have
become more discussed in the public arena.
Victims are less likely to feel shameful because of the work done by left wing and feminist activists in
campaigning against gender based and sexual violence.
Those who are using Sweden and rape statistics to stir up fear against refugees are deliberately
misleading people. They are promoting a racist stereotype that somehow non-white men are a threat
to white women. This is a lie.
The same people who are claiming to "protect Irish women against refugees" oppose abortion rights,
defend the wrongdoings of the Catholic Church and oppose women's rights.
In Sweden one councillor for the far-right party Sweden Democrats was jailed for the rape of two
young girls in 2020. He was paid for his political position while in prison. Another Sweden Democrats
local politician was arrested and charged for raping a woman in 2021.
The far right has no interest in protecting women. They just want to spread fear and hate against
refugees and minorities to detract from the real issues that face us all such as growing inequality, the
housing crisis and privatisation of public services.
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