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Minister: No rise in sex attacks at Swedish fests

The sexual assaults at Bråvalla and Putte i Parken are not symptomatic of an increase in sex crimes, says Anders Ygeman, with attacks "less common than 20 years ago"

By Jon Chapple on 19 Jan 2017

Anders Ygeman, Victor Svedberg

image © Victor Svedberg

Despite multiple sexual assaults at two Swedish festivals last summer, the incidence of sexual harassment at live music events in Sweden is less frequent than it was two decades ago, interior minister Anders Ygeman has said.

Speaking yesterday at concert industry conference Sweden Live, Ygeman said: “Sexual molestation at festivals is, in my eyes, less common now than 20 years ago.”

The minister’s views were echoed by Kristina Ljungros, chairwoman of sex-education nonprofit RFSU, who said her organisation does “not believe that crimes have increased”. Ljungros, who joined Ygemen, FKP Scorpio’s Kajsa Apelqvist and We Are Stockholm’s Eve Widgren on a panel discussion on sexual harassment at concerts, added, however, that “it’s good we’re talking about it now” and that “we all have a responsibility” to prevent sexual assaults, reports SVT.

“Sexual molestation at festivals is, in my eyes, less common now than 20 years ago”

Widgren, meanwhile, said “sensational” media reporting has contributed to a sense that sexual assaults are on the rise in Sweden, even if that’s not the case.

More than 35 sex attacks were reported at the Putte i Parken festival in the first weekend of July, with a similar spate of assaults also affecting FKP Scorpio’s Bråvalla festival the same weekend.

FKP Scorpio chief executive Folkert Koopmans later clarified to IQ that of the five initial reports of rape at Bråvalla, two were withdrawn and three would be better described as sexual harassment. “Swedish women are encouraged to stand up and report any type of sexual harassment – much more so compared to most other countries,” he explained. “As a result we receive a high number of reported rapes and other incidents.”


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