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One in ten girls sexually abused as teens: report

Ten percent of Norwegian women claim to have been sexually abused before the age of 16, according to an “alarming” new report from the University of Bergen.

One in ten girls sexually abused as teens: report
File photo: Heiko Junge/NTB Scanpix

A quarter of the women selected at random for the study, all aged 18-80, said they had been subjected to “sexually offensive conduct” before turning 16, newspaper Dagsavisen reports.

In all, just over half the women in the study and more than a fifth of the men said they had experienced some form of sexually offensive behaviour.

“These are alarmingly high figures,” said psychologist Iris M. Steine at the Universtity of Bergen.

“Sexual abuse is a very serious problem. The high occurrence and the high risk of injury shows there’s a clear need for preventive measures,” she told Dagsavisen.

Under Norwegian law, the term “unsolicited sexual relations” covers the most serious sex crimes, including rape and sexual assault.

Some 11.4 percent of women said they had experienced unsolicited sexual relations before their 16th birthday, while 16.3 percent of female respondents said they first fell victim to serious sex offences after turning 16.

24.3 percent of the women surveyed said they had come into contact with sexually offensive  behaviour while still under the age of 16. This category included witnessing indecent exposure and being shown pornography.

For the study, sex offences were defined more broadly than in Norwegian law to include several forms of non-physical abuse and harassment, a factor that contributed to higher than usual figures for a survey of this kind.

Regardless of this discrepancy, children’s ombudsman Anne Lindboe said she was in no way surprised to learn that sexual abuse of all kinds is widespread in Norway.

“It’s a major problem. This is something a lot of children fall victim to, and which they carry with them and don’t dare talk about,” she said.

A total of 706 people participated in the study, 55 percent of whom were women and 45 percent men. 

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SEX ABUSE

Norwegian jailed for ordering online child sex abuse in Philippines

A 71-year-old Norwegian man was sentenced to 12.5 years in prison on Monday for ordering sexual assaults to be carried out online against dozens of young Filipinas.

Norwegian jailed for ordering online child sex abuse in Philippines
Søre Sunnmøre district court. Photo: Statsbygg

“With his actions, the accused contributed to a sex industry that brutally exploits vulnerable children in the worst possible way,” the Søre Sunnmøre district court in western Norway wrote in its verdict.

Between 2012 and 2013, the man used an online video calling service to contact people in the Philippines.

He paid them to, under his instructions, sexually assault minors under the age of 14, the youngest one “probably between three and five years old”, while he watched, the court found.

The court said there were “at least” 48 victims but the actual number could be much higher because of difficulties identifying them.

“The court finds that the victims are living in an almost inhumane situation that the accused helped perpetuate with his actions,” the verdict said.

Norwegian police were alerted by the United States FBI as part of a larger case the latter was probing.

Investigators found more than 36,000 photographs and videos containing child pornography in his possession.

“I went into a bubble and I was going through a very difficult time in my personal life,” the accused told the court during his trial, according to broadcaster NRK.

The sentence handed down was slightly higher than the 12 years the prosecution had called for.

The victims' young age was considered an aggravating factor for the sentencing.