All assaults that are against your will are illegal in Sweden. Sexual abuse, rape and domestic violence are liable to punishment by law. And you have the right to report what you have been exposed to, to the police. Both so you can get closure and so that the perpetrator can’t do it again, to you or anyone else.
It’s recommended that you visit an emergency clinic directly after an assault, before you have taken a shower or washed up. This secures the proof and documents any injuries. You don’t have to file a police report just because you seek medical care and secure the evidence, but it’s important that it’s done if you ever change your mind in the future.
How long you can wait without doing a police report depends on the period of limitation, which is regulated in brottsbalken kap 35 (Swedish criminal code chapter 35). This period of limitation starts on the day of the crime for adults. But for children, it starts the day they turn 18.
For adults, the period of limitation is 10 years for rape and 15 years for brutal rape.
For children, the period of limitation is as follows:
– Rape against children: 10 years
– Brutal rape against children: 15 years
– Sexual abuse of children: 10 years
– Sexual assault of children: 5 years
– Brutal sexual abuse against children: 10 years
That means a child who has been brutally raped can report it until the day he or she turns 33.
Most people find it hard to talk about the abuse, regardless of when it happened. And it can feel even worse telling the police. That’s why it’s good to be prepared. We recommend everyone to contact a legal council that you trust before contacting the police.
When you are ready to go to the police, we advise you to bring someone you trust and that can support you during your report.
You can also contact one of the following organizations to get help through the process: