Few Muslim women report rape

Kari-Jane LidOslo. Kari-Jane Lid, head of section for sexual offences.Photo: Jon Olav Nesvold / NTB scanpix

Muslim women in Oslo do not report rape on an equal scale to the rest of the population, the police says. Cultural norms and little confidence in the police are seen as the explanation.

Every month  Oslo Crisis Centre helps 200 new women who have experienced violence. Half of these are  women from minority communities, and many of them are Muslims who have been victims of sexual violence in intimate relationships. Only one in four press charges whilst they are at the shelter, says NRK news.

– They have experienced sexual violence in their marriage. They have found that they have been raped. Their men force themselves on them when they are mentruating or force them into a sexual behavior they are not interested in, says Managing Director Inger-Lise W. Larsen.

Oslo Police keep no statistics on religious affiliation when they record rape allegations, but they think that it is a big unknown when it comes to some Muslim communities.

– The knowledge that sexual violence and abuse in the family is a criminal offense is small in many communities. Very few Muslim women are represented in the rape statistics for Oslo police, says head of section for sexual crimes, Kari Janne Lid to NRK.

Nisa Saeed, legal advisor at the organization LIN working for equality and inclusion of minority women, says the honor culture is strong in many communities.

– Much is at stake for women. It feels easier just to pretend it has not happened. A rape can be enough for a family to be shunned or slandered, says Saeed.

 

Source: NTB scanpix / Norway Today

 

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