Report lifts lid on teen group rapes
6 December 2004 , AMSTERDAM — New research indicates that Dutch justice officials prosecute about 200 teens annually for group rape, representing one third of all sex crimes committed by young people.
6 December 2004
AMSTERDAM — New research indicates that Dutch justice officials prosecute about 200 teens annually for group rape, representing one third of all sex crimes committed by young people.
The study by the Netherlands Institute for the Study of Crime and Law Enforcement said the youths involved engage in group rapes for fun and that very little pre-planning goes into the crimes. Peer pressure is often involved.
The report has made headlines in the Netherlands and raised questions about how the problem has gone largely unnoticed for so long.
The Leiden-based institute said the average age of the culprits is 14, compared with the female victim, who is on average aged 13.
The culprits are generally of low intelligence. Three out of five offenders come from broken homes, more than one-third is neglected and a third has also been abused, the institute said.
The teens usually act in groups of four of relatively the same ethnic group. They are known to each other, and the victim is usually known to at least one of the rapists. The culprits use condoms in about half of the cases.
Prior to the rape, the teens decide they want to have sex and often approach the intended victim seeking her consent. If she refuses, they rape her anyway.
Physical violence is not often used, but the victim is often threatened or is placed in a situation — due to the overwhelming numbers of the culprits — that she cannot escape from. The culprits often threaten the victim after the crime to scare her into not lodging a police report.
But the institute also noted that the culprits are not worried about possible prosecution, suggesting they realise it will be the girl's word against their statements. Many culprits might also mentally rationalise the event or the permission of the victim, the report said.
The institute studied prosecution details to gather its results, examining 24 culprit groups with 91 offenders in total. It found that there are at least 200 teens prosecuted for group rape annually, but the true level of offences could be much higher because many crimes could go unreported or end in acquittal.
A Rotterdam police official explained to newspaper NRC that if seven boys deny the crime or claim the girl gave her assent, it is very difficult to make any charges stick.
The Leiden researchers have called for follow-up investigations to determine whether the teens commit repeat offences, especially when they become adults.
[Copyright Expatica News 2004]
Subject: Dutch news