Aarhus: Families helping in raping girls

Aarhus: Families helping in raping girls

Translated from Århus Stiftstidende and DR (h/t Uriasposten):

An increasing number of young, Danish women of Middle Eastern background are subjected to violence and race in forced marriages. Simon Eilrich, a lawyer from Aarhus, is trying to help the women in a new way. The lawyer says that the attacks often take place with the knowledge or help of the families of the girls, and wants those involved charged.

"I've come to the conclusion that we can't and shouldn't - in the name of the culture clash - accept rapes in a legal sense. You can't camouflage rape with a family tradition. It should now only be about the individual girl's rights. They should outweigh family honor. The law should be absolute. If you're forced into sex, that's rape," says Simon Eilrich.

Since last year he dealt with 12 cases of Danish girls of Middle-Easter background, most led to the cousins or brothers being sentenced for being accomplices to violence or rape. Simon Eilrich hopes this will cause the rotten apples in the immigrant community to change their attitude.

Simon Eilrich says that many of the girls live in families were many people live in the same house or apartment and that in many of the cases he gets, attacks took place in the apartment where the women live - often with the man's family.

He's had cases where the man's family - his brothers and in one case his mother - physically held the door open for the girl and turned up the TV so that the neighbors couldn't hear her screams. If the girl was injured, they made sure that she didn't go to a doctor or out at all, so nobody would notice.

"The criminal law is clear. Those who whisper 'if you're a man', hold the door, hide the woman's cellphone, or turn up the TV, are accomplices," says Simon Eilrich.

He's often takes cases for young girls of Middle Easter background, and sees an increase in the number of attacks, as the girls are students and better educated. LOKK, the national organization for women's shelters, says that close to half of the women in the centers - 46% - are of non-Danish background.

Calls to LOKK's hot-line for young Danes of Middle-Eastern background, who live between honor and Danish culture, almost doubled in one year. The hot-line got 833 calls in 2010, compared with 440 the year before.