Crime stats show increase in violence against women in Sweden after refugee influx
STOCKHOLM (Sinclair Broadcast Group) - Women in Sweden love their country.
But recently, their picturesque cityscape has seen an increase in violence, specifically against young girls and women.
Data provided by the government reports an overall increase in sex crimes.
According to the Swedish Crime Survey, compared to 2015, attempted rape against girls 15 - 17 was up 46 percent in 2016.
Rape of teens in that same date and age range is up 19 percent.
Attempted rape of girls under 15 increased 16 percent; rape of young girls in that same age increased by 26 percent.
Rapes against adult women increased by 7 percent.
Around that same time, in 2015, more than 160-thousand people applied for asylum in Sweden from war-torn countries in the Middle East and Africa.
"Sweden has changed very much. It has never been like this." - Katerina Janouch
Documenting the increase of sex crimes against women, Katerina Janouch told Inside Your World she believes it's crippled her country.
"Frozen fright – when you are raped and you can’t move in frozen fright – that’s what I consider this country is now. It doesn’t know how to handle it."
She said the rise in violence against women is a new phenomenon.
In the southern city of Malmö, local media reports there have been four reported gang rapes since November 2017.
According to reports, all four happened overnight in the early-morning hours.
As of this posting, there were no arrests, which has left some feeling alarmed.
Here are some women who describe their thoughts on the reports:
"I mean, I don't walk a lot at night."
"I wish it wouldn't be that way, and I'm terrible about the rapes."
"I know it's very bad things happening here."
Police aren't sure if the incidents are all connected; part of their challenge, some say, is self-inflicted.
Authorities in Sweden don't physically describe suspects.
"That's one of political correctness." - Former Swedish Police member
A former officer, who agreed to speak with Inside Your World on condition we conceal his identity, said he feels this practice isn't right, and doesn't help keep the community safe.
"I think they should be more accurate for the people to describe the person who’s done that - don’t take any excuses and a real description so people can be aware what they look out for."
Government stats in Sweden don't provide those details either.
"Of course not everybody is a criminal, but when you don’t tell who is committing a crime, then you’re afraid of everyone," said Janouch.
Janouch has a simple message to people who don't believe that Sweden is facing new challenges as a result of a mass immigration influx: talk to a victim.
"Look into the eyes of those people and tell them it’s not a problem, people are completely safe because, you know, Swedes they are trust other people bc they haven’t had reason not to do that."
When asked if it was too late for her country, Janouch said she's optimistic, though others may not be.
"There are some people who think we’ve reached the point of no return."