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Surge in Norwegian sex assaults

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13:51 CEST+02:00
Four violent sexual assaults on Norwegian women southeast of Oslo and another this weekend in the capital itself have many in southern Norway wondering what's next.

Although police made an arrest early on Sunday, the attacks follow a record number of sexual assaults this summer for which little justice was meted out.

One of the latest attacks in Østfold County near the Swedish border was “so violent the woman was covered in lacerations,” according to Fredriksstad Blad. Three of the sexual assaults occurred in Fredrikstad, a fortress town in southeast Norway.

A wave of violent sexual assaults spread fear in Oslo and other parts of Norway this summer. The sexual violence has experts nervous about teens’ easy access to internet pornography and access by violent offenders. A recent report carried out for the European Union noted that Norwegian children see more porn than any of their European counterparts.

In the latest assault in Oslo in the early hours of Saturday, a woman reportedly ran out to a police patrol car saying she had been sexually assaulted. She had shared a taxi with a man who was heading in the same direction.

When they got out, she alleged the man forced her into a cellar. The accused, who also came out to the police car, said she had consented.

Few such cases are cleared up, and Summer 2011’s wave of over a dozen police-reported sexual assaults in the capital produced no convictions. Such assaults are up 15 percent over last year, with police examining 39 cases in Oslo alone, naming assailants in just five cases.

“We’re not looking for 39 rapists,” said Hanne Kristin Rohde, Oslo Police sexual crime boss.

“If we look at our experience from earlier years, there’s reason to believe there are many serial rapists.”

Nevertheless, a report by NRK in July said emergency rooms had taken in more than one sexual assault victim per day in 2011, in contrast to the 39 attacks reported to police.

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