Sex Crime Victims
If you have been subjected to rape or other sexual assault, you should contact the police as soon as possible. Trace, which can be important evidence in a trial, may remain for some time after the incident has occurred.
Assistance and support
If you are the victim of a sex crime, you can contact the police for support and assistance. Seek the nearest police station or call 114 14. If it is an emergency or taking place, call 112. The police will write up a report, but can also answer questions or refer you to a relief organisation.
Non-profit organisations with hotlines for crime victims are found in most districts in the country. You can locate them through the Victim Support Association or Kvinnofridslinjen.
Kvinnofridslinjen is a national helpline where everyone, even men, can call free of charge and receive advice, support and assistance.
The lines are manned around the clock by trained staff who are used to encountering people in crisis or difficult life situations. You can remain anonymous. Your call does not register on your telephone bill. The Victim Support Association also has a national telephone centre you can call.
Importance of reporting
Report the crime as soon as possible by seeking out the nearest police station or calling 114 14. If it is an emergency, call 112. By filing a police report, you enable the possibility of the suspect being prosecuted. A report can also prevent the offender from subjecting others to crime. The report is necessary for you to be able to receive compensation from the Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority in cases where the offender cannot be tied to the criminal act. You are, however, not obligated to report the crime.
To consider when filing a report
It is important to secure trace evidence that may exist. This involves safeguarding clothes, sheets and, for example, hair strands in order to find DNA or other trace that can be used as evidence in a trial.
As victim, you should be examined at the earliest opportunity at an accident and emergency ward, by a gynecologist, or any of the specialised centres for rape victims found in certain districts.
With evidence collection for sex crime, special evidence collection kits are available to assist the doctor with the examination. Medical staff collect various samples that may prove important evidence in a trial. Any injuries are documented and photographed.
If you contact the police directly after the incident, they will help you with evidence collection and ensure that you are examined by a doctor.
If you do not wish to file a report, it is nonetheless important that you undergo a medical examination and that any evidence be saved in the event that you change your mind at a later date.
Support in the legal process
In most cases, you have the right to bring along a support person when visiting the police. You decide who is to be your support person. It can be a friend, an official from social services or someone from a victim or women's support organisation. The support person does not receive compensation for their involvement.
You can also receive a counsel for an injured party, or 'legal representative'. If granted, this service is free of charge. The counsel for an injured party supports you throughout the entire legal process. If you wish to obtain counsel, relay this to the police or prosecutor.
Definition of the crime
Sex crime is a collective term for the crimes of rape, aggravated rape, child rape, sexual coercion, sexual exploitation, sexual molestation, the purchase of sexual services, procuring, and others. A sex crime occurs when you are subjected to a sexual act against your will. If you are under 15 years old, a sex act can be categorised in a separate manner.