“Almost every Swedish woman feels very or somewhat unsafe when they exercise alone in the dark”, finds new research by the Aftonbladet newspaper in the wake of the migrant rape crisis.
Combining a wide-ranging study of attitudes of women towards being outside in the evening on their own and personal interviews, the findings show that the statement of 34-year-old Ellinor Andersson that she carried a bunch of keys in her hand at night, ready to strike out, are quite normal.
Talking to Aftonbladet, the woman said: “I would never go running by myself on a Friday or a Saturday night”. Another said she would never go out alone after seven in the evening.
The survey finds that now 46 per cent of women aged 16 or over felt either very or somewhat unsafe when they are alone in the dark, compared to just 20 per cent for men. Even during the daytime many are uncomfortable, the results also show 43 per cent felt insecure while in a city on their own, and around a third were “afraid” of Swedish cities”.
Many women were so afraid of trying to get home in the dark, they would go to lengths to avoid it. Almost one third said they’d rather stay at a friend’s house overnight than try and get home, should they be caught out by the falling sun.
The figures may come as a surprise to some, given the reputation Sweden once enjoyed for being one of the happiest and safest countries in the world. Today, Sweden has been called the rape capital of the west, and despite efforts to debunk the title it still has significantly higher than average rates of assault.
While the Aftonbladet study makes absolutely no reference to what precisely the women are afraid of, the study comes amid a barrage of stories coming out of the country of lone women being raped and attacked by newly arrived migrants.
One major concern is that many of these men remain free after offending, having been handed extremely short sentences or not having been caught at all. A news story that may weigh heavily on the minds of Swedish women, and was reported by their national media before the police stopped revealing the identity of offenders in crimes where migrants were involved to avoid seeming “racist”, is that of a brutal gang rape in a secluded park that left a woman with “life changing” injuries.
The 23-year-old victim was attacked while sitting alone on a park bench by a gang of teenage migrants. Once they beat her into submission the leader of the gang used his mobile phone to call his friends to join them and participate — eventually the woman was raped anally and vaginally six times by the group as her attackers laughed at her.
Because the men were technically under age they were tried in a children’s court and all will be released this year, having been serves just six month sentences. The leader of the attack, who received nine months in a juvenile institution couldn’t stand even that, and escaped detention last month and is now on the run.
Follow Oliver Lane on Twitter: Follow @Oliver_Lane or e-mail to: email@example.com