Theater of Cruelty

Will name the rapists

The Men Against Violence organization wants to publish the name of anyone convicted of rape.


[gap stick] Outgoing leader in Men Against Violence (MMV), Markus Sorge, presents the proposal in an essay in this issue of Ny Tid. He believes that the court, as part of the sentence, should publish the names of all rapists for a limited period on the court's website.

- Is not this the same as the medieval gape stick?

- I feel a certain discomfort at proposing this, but we have to do something. According to our survey, only five percent of all rapes are reported, and only a fraction end up in conviction. Today, there is virtually no legal risk in rape. Making the abusers visible will have a preventive effect, Sorge believes.

"Now be careful about the man you bring home," is the warning parents give their daughters today, writes Sorge in the essay. Maybe we should go there, he thinks, that a father advises his son: "Don't go alone with unknown women, you risk being charged for rape." Because if there is something perpetrators scream, it's public, says Sorge. He elaborates that if there is no proposal for publication on the websites of the sentencing courts, MMV will strongly consider digging out and publishing the names of their own websites.

Lawyer Mona Høiness has worked extensively on rape cases, and she believes there will be a flurry of such publications on the Internet in the future.

- The yawning rod that was abolished in the 1800th century has returned in a new guise and we will have a debate about all the suffering and suicide that this kind of yawning rod will inflict on the people who are affected, she says.

The Secretary General of the Norwegian Press Association, Per Edgar Kokkvold is also skeptical of the proposal from MMV.

- It may be justified to name convicted abusers in some cases, but it is not the case that everyone who has been convicted deserves to have their name printed, says Kokkvold, who points out that organizations 'websites are outside the press' area of ​​responsibility.

Høiness believes that publishing on MMV's websites will not be illegal, but doubts whether the proposal will have a positive impact on women's legal security.

- The rule of law is more important before a trial than after, says Høiness.

She has experienced that cases are often dismissed if the victim has not dared to make physical resistance, most recently in the much-talked-about Caledonia case where she was a lawyer.

- So what do you think can be done?

- The Minister of Justice should instruct the prosecuting authority to be tougher here and actually take the chance of losing some cases. The powerlessness the victims feel in that the cases are not even tried in court is very traumatic for most people, says Høiness.

Men against violence suggest that the criminal case and the private law issue of compensation should be consistently dealt with in the same case, so that the prosecuting authority can bring charges on a tactical basis. Markus Sorge also comments on the so-called Marianne Aulie case in the essay and writes: "From time to time the wrong man will be charged, but maybe that is the price you have to pay to increase women's legal security?" ■


Rape in Norway

■ 2006 was a record year for the number of reported rapes. 840 rapes were reported last year.

■ 9 percent of the cases – 77 – ended in a verdict.

■ In recent years, the number of reports has increased, but we do not know whether this is due to an increased number of rapes or an increased proportion of reported rapes.

■ It is common to assume that 1 in 10 rapes is reported.

■ Men Against Violence is an independent organization that works against violence against women.

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