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The world goes backwards

Half of Norwegian men justify sexual abuse.


Norwegian women are scared. Since last summer, the word assault rape has characterized the news scene, along with "good advice" on how women can and should behave in public space. This has revolved around the debate about what women can do to avoid being raped, what the Imams can do to prevent Muslims from being abusers and what causes so many women to be assaulted by strangers on the streets.

We have repeatedly warned against such a focus. The problem is not the assault rapes. They are a small fraction of the estimated 5000 rapes that occur in Norway each year. The Imams were never the problem. There are blank lies, gross numbers cheating and temporary motives behind claims such as "2 of 3 rapes are committed by an immigrant." Here is no explanation for the 5000 rapes.

The problem is not that Norwegian women ignore good advice. The problem is that there are so many Norwegian men who rape. The problem is the attitudes that make some men feel they have the right to rape. The report by Amnesty and Reform this week on Norwegian men's attitudes towards women shows a population characterized by such hostile attitudes that for them the 5000 rapes justify themselves.

The survey shows that every other Norwegian man believes that a woman who flirts openly is co-responsible if she is subjected to an abuse. It shows that every fourth man thinks a woman walking alone on a deserted stretch is responsible for a sexual assault. Even more people believe that a woman who dresses sexy is fully or partially responsible for such an assault.

One can become powerless by less. But attitudes and practices are subject to change. Victims of rape must have better legal certainty, we must gain increased knowledge, better rehabilitation and expanded attitudes. For it is not only the refugee, the deviant or the serial offender who rapes.

The problem is rather that most Norwegian men believe that women have to take part of the blame for an abuse. These are attitudes we wish were abandoned long ago. But the world is not moving forward, it is going backwards: it is the young Norwegian men who can change the world. At the same time, there are those who think violence against women is the least serious. Norwegian men are raping.

Gratulerer med dagen

May 1st is the workers' day for battle and celebration. Rights are never won once and for all, but must be fought again and again. Our time also requires solidarity across borders. We therefore support the fight for international labor rights. Happy Birthday.

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