Why this story matters:
The data is likely to be linked to a sharp uptake in public awareness of victim rights, along with NGO activity and the creation of phone lines dedicated to helping and counselling women and children who have been assaulted.
Publicity over such cases has also increased -- only recently, the Romanian public was shaken with the discovery of a pedophile policeman in Bucharest and two cases of stabbings involving abusive partners.
In a society where sexual crimes are too often silenced, more people coming forward to report them is good news.
Details from the story:
- Romania entered 2017 with 512 unsolved sexual attacks -- 374 were cases of rape and 138 were cases of sexual assault.
- The number of reported rape cases has grown from 260 in 2008 to 374 in 2017.
- Sexual assault reports grew more sharply, from eight cases in 2008 to 138 in 2017 -- nearly double the number from two years earlier.
- Although the General Prosecutor’s Office says it does not have national statistics for underage sexual assault victims, Bucharest has 140 open sex crime cases involving minors.
- Shame, public stigma and, in some cases, agreements between the rapist and the victim prevent many women from reporting sex crimes, meaning the number of victims could be higher than the official reports.