Swedish police are looking for seven males who have beenaccused of sexually assaulting girls and young women at a festival in southern Sweden that took place last weekend.
According to the Associated Press, the Swedish police department received 32 reports of boys or young men allegedly assaulting women at the three-day event.
Leif Nystrom, Karlstad Police Inspector, went on to say that the attacks “included groping but there were no reports of rape.” The perpetrators have been identified by the police department, however, they have not yet been detained.
This isn’t the first time sexual assaultshave been reported on such a large scale in Sweden. Earlier this year, the police department were accused of allegedly covering up a ton of sexual assaults that also happened at a music festival last year as they declined to inform the public about them.
Festivals seem to be a place where men take advantage of young women because of the conditions of the environment. It isn’t uncommon for festival goers to be under the influence of popular drugs that enhance the effects of listening to live music, like MDMA. Just ask this 16-year-old girlwho was raped at a guy’s campsite at a festival. She says about her festival experience:
I think there definitely is an idyllic view of festivals. But in reality, they’re just like society downsized — there are going to be the same pockets of people who are okay with doing harm to others.
Dr. Fiona Vera Gray, a Helpline Operations Coordinator at London-based charity Rape Crisis, points out that the rape epidemic happening at festivals shouldn’t be taken lightly and that just because people have fun at festivals doesn’t excuse illegal and immoral behavior. She says,
We need to create environments where women are respected… And where all forms of sexual violence, including sexual harassment, rape “jokes” and discriminatory comments made about women’s lives and bodies, are not tolerated.