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Högt mörkertal vid våldtäkter - varför anmäls så få våldtäkter?

A high dark figure of rapes - why is so few rapes reported?


  • Terese Evertsson

Summary, in English

There is a large dark figure of rapes, which means that very few report that they have been raped. Overall is it a large dark figure of sexual crimes and it is estimated that only 10-20 % of all sexual crimes are reported. One problem is that many do not want to admit that they are exposed, so it becomes difficult to know how large the dark figure of crime actually is. To obtain the dark figure of crime different studies like “den Nationella trygghetsundersökningen” are being made, which is carried out every year where people are asked if they have been victims of any crime. According to the estimated figures for 2009 over 150 000 crimes of sexual nature occurred and only 12 % were reported. Of these crimes approximately 18 000 was rapes, which means that 50 rapes happens every day.

The reasons why rapes are not reported are many, such as the relationship to the perpetrator or that the victim does not know where to turn after the rape. Most rapes take place in a relationship where the victim knows the offender and because of the relationship it becomes difficult for the victim to report the crime. Many women are embarrassed for being raped and blame themselves. Have they been drinking alcohol or been dressed challenging it is even a lesser chance that they report the crime. Many do not want to go through the legal process and answer intimate questions in front of other people. They also know that there are not many offenders that are prosecuted or sentences, so they do not think that there is any point to report the rape.

The dark figure of crime is diverse for different types of rapes. In cases where the victim is raped by an unknown person most rapes are reported and there is an only a small dark figure of crime here. Rape attacks are also included here. Is the offender a person that the victim is superficially familiar with, the rape is not reported as often as when the perpetrator is unknown. The dark figure of crime seems to be biggest when a rape is committed by a person that the victim knows. Within this category the largest number of rapes is, but least that are reported.

Probably there is no way to eliminate the dark figure of rapes completely, but there should be ways to get more victims to report rapes. Unfortunately the number of rapes has increased due to an expanded nightlife, with other consummation patterns and more people meets through the Internet. At the same time the number of rape reports is increasing constantly. The more we talk about it and as society changes the tolerance decreases. This in its turn affects the legislators and the law of sex crimes has been amended several times. For example the rape crime has expanded and more crimes are seen as rape than before. Development occurs all the time and an inquiry was put forward in the fall of 2010 with a bill where a part is based on consent. Hopefully we are heading in the right direction, so that the dark figure of rapes can decrease.


Publishing year




Document type

Student publication for professional degree (Master's level)


  • Law and Political Science


  • obligatoriska
  • kontrollerade ämnesord
  • våldtäkt
  • mörkertal
  • våldtäktsanmälningar


  • Helén Örnemark Hansen (Associate Professor)