According to Sweden’s Crime Prevention Council (Brå) statistics, the number of sex attacks against teenage girls aged 15 to 17 has increased by 51 percent in the last five years.
Only in 2019, Sweden reported a 6-percent increase in rapes compared to 2018. Overall, the authorities investigated 8,350 cases last year.
However, the surge in the reported sex offense cases has been on an upward a trend for a while. Even though last year the Swedish police increased the number of police officers dealing with sex crimes, the situation is not getting any better.
The statistics provide truly shocking comparisons. For example, the number of sex offenses against females older than 18 rose by 27 percent between 2015 and 2019. In cases of girls aged 15 to 17, the increase was even higher, at 51 percent.
The category of victims under 15 years old also saw a substantial increase of 11 percent.
Worrying trend in Sweden’s increasingly multicultural society
Although migrants make up a fraction of the population of Sweden, statistics show they have a disproportionate role in sexual offenses.
In 2018, SVT showed that rape statistics in Sweden indicated that 58 percent of men with rape or attempted rape convictions over the preceding five years were immigrants born outside the European Union, mainly from North Africa, South Africa, Afghanistan, and the Middle East.
The BBC also reported that in cases were victims did not know their attackers, the proportion of foreign-born men convicted of sexual assault was 80 percent.
Some of the most high-profile rape cases in Sweden have involved migrants and asylum seekers. In 2019, for example, a Swedish court dealt with a case of an immigrant in his 20s who repeatedly raped an 11-year-old girl and even got her pregnant twice, claiming he thought she was older than 15.
Even though the perpetrator had been sentenced to three years in prison, he has avoided a lifetime expulsion from Sweden, and is permitted to come back to the country after ten years.
A similar case occurred in June 2019 when a 17-year-old migrant forced an underage girl to have sex with him, claiming he did not know it was a crime to have sex with a minor.
As cases of sexual assault explode higher, gang rape has also become an increasing concern.
In 2018, Swedish newspaper Expressen reported on this growing trend in Sweden. After an investigation into the court cases involving gang rape over the previous two years, the paper found that there were 43 men convicted of the offense. The paper also determined that of the 40 out of the 43 men with gang rape convictions, they were either immigrants who were born abroad or born in Sweden to immigrant parents.
Another investigation also found that since July 2012, there were 112 men and boys convicted for gang rape. Of those, 82 were born outside of Europe. The median age of victims was only 15, while seven out of ten perpetrators were between 15 and 20.
Sweden offers a stark contrast to countries like Hungary and Poland
Sweden’s rape statistics differ drastically from other regions of Europe that have refused to take in migrants, with 73 per 100,000 citizens reporting a case of rape in 2017, representing a 24 percent increase in the last decade.
In contrast, Hungary has a rate of 3.9 per 100,000 citizens reporting rape in the country. Poland’s rate is even lower, at 3.2 per 100,000.