Rape is all the rage it seems. This news article reports a >20% increase in the number of reported rape cases in Belgium between 2009 and 2011.
The article is in Dutch, and I couldn’t find it English anywhere yet, so let me provide you with a translation:
Between 2009 and 2011, the number of reported rapes increased from 3,360 to 4,038, an increase of more than 20%. Almost half or the cases was dismissed due to insufficient evidence. The newspaper bases its report on figures from the federal justice department (I am not familiar with Belgian state structure, I might have translated this wrong).
A total of 11,170 rape cases were filed at the district attorneys between 1 January 2009 and 31 December 2011. Brussels is the worst with 2,542 cases: almost a quarter of all cases, followed by Ghent, Liège and Antwerp. A strong increase in the number of cases between 2009 and 2011 has been found in all jurisdictions.
More than 11 rapes took place every day in Belgium in 2011. Senator Inge Faes of the New Flemish Alliance, who requested the figures from the minsiter of Justice, Annemie Turtleboom (Open Flemish Liberals and Democrats) calls it a “regretful evolution”.
Here is a list of rape figures per capita in the world, and it seems that before this sharp increase, in 2008, Belgium was very high on the list of highest number of rape cases reported per capita too. What is happening?
Update: Because the northern neighbours of Belgium are missing from that list, I dug them up from the Dutch Central Bureau of Statistics (this table, the relevant keyword is “verkrachting”). The incidence of reported rape in the Netherlands dropped from 0.12 per 1000 inhabitants in 2009 to 0,10 in 2011. The Netherlands have roughly 1.6 times the number of inhabitants, and where Belgium reported 11,170 cases between 2009 and 2011, the Dutch had 5075 in the same period. I am puzzled by the difference: I don’t perceive Belgium to be that much different from the Netherlands.