New numbers on violent sexual crime in Bulgaria and rest of EU

Written by on November 24, 2017 in Europe - Comments Off on New numbers on violent sexual crime in Bulgaria and rest of EU

Eurostat just released the latest numbers on violent sexual crimes. While the data for 2016 are expected next year, the statistical authority of the European Union presented those for 2015.

A total of 215,000 violent sexual crimes were recorded by the police in all of the EU that year, among them almost 80,000 rapes. According to Eurostat, more than 9 in 10 rape victims and more than 8 in 10 sexual assault victims were girls or women.

The highest number of violent sexual offenses were registered in England, Germany, France and Sweden. Relative to the population of each state, Sweden recorded the highest number of such crimes, followed by Northern Ireland, England and Belgium.

Eurostat decided to release those numbers shortly before the International Day of the Elimination of Violence Against Women, which will be marked tomorrow, on November 25.

The data are alarming and peculiar at the same time. As Eurostat stressed, only crimes recorded by the police were included. There is no other way to count the cases.

Bulgaria’s numbers and those of other Eastern European countries are even more alarming. This does not apply because those numbers are so high, but because they are low. In fact, the data from Bulgaria, Greece and Romania are simply too good to be accurate. And it is not Eurostat’s fault.

Graph by Eurostat.

According to the data at hand, there were 603 cases of violent sexual crimes in Bulgaria. Greece, which has one and a half times as many inhabitants, counted only 504, and Romania, a country three times as large as Bulgaria, regarding the number of inhabitants, had 1,660 cases.

In comparison, Germany, with ten times as many inhabitants as Bulgaria, had 57 times as many cases, and things look similar in other Western European countries. It is obvious that far more cases were reported to the police in that region.

Bulgaria, Greece and Romania officially had few rape cases as well, 119, 122 and 1,016 respectively. While Romania’s number is probably closer to the actual number of rapes than the other two, there is not that much of a difference. These numbers are far too good to be true, in the sense that it is obvious only a fraction of the actual cases were included. In Western European countries, the number of rape cases listed is several times higher.

The numbers of sexual assault cases per 100,000 inhabitants deliver the most obvious sign that something is very wrong here: Bulgaria, Greece and Romania had 6.72, 3.52 and 3.24 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, while Sweden had 120.79, Scotland 145.04 and Luxemburg 51.16.

Observers believe countries in the south-east of the continent should start fighting sexual abuse by providing proper help for victims, by building facilities in which women and children who become victims of crimes of this kind can be accommodated and protected, and by making sure society and the authorities start talking about sexual violence, about prevention and about what victims can do.

 

 

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About the Author

Imanuel Marcus is Associate Editor of The Sofia Globe. He is German and lives in Sofia. Contact: imanuelmarcus (at) gmail.com