Realstars takes a stand against the register of battered women

The Stockholm police claim that their register of battered women was created for the sole purpose of protecting these female victims.

However, as long as there is no proof that this was their true intent, this register becomes just another demonstration of how the victim, rather than the perpetrator, is blamed for the crime occurred. Every year, this all too familiar structure enables rape and other forms of abuse to pass unnoticed. In fact, only 13 percent of reported rapes lead to an actual prosecution. This is appalling yet true.

The register focuses on the women and describes them as “tricky”, “compulsive liars”, or “mentally handicapped”. This illustrates a view of women and crime that is unacceptable; especially within an institution with the purpose of protecting the population. It is not the task of the police to focus on the victims when working from a crime-preventative perspective. This register is thus a complete failure and shows a total lack of responsibility among the police.

According to Swedish newspaper Aftonbladet, the register has now been closed down. We will now continue our work to break the pattern of blaming the victim by instead focus on the perpetrators of sexual violence. It is neither our nor the police’s job to zoom in on the victim since our work is about preventing crime. It is time to stop claiming that violations against already vulnerable people would prevent abuse and rape. We need to change our views about sexual violence against women. This is crucial when it comes to protecting women in the prostitution and sex trafficking business where the trials are challenging, but also in all other cases where women’s past history is in focus rather than the perpetrators’ illegal actions.