Two Swedish music festivals have received reports of dozens of sexual assaults and multiple rapes which allegedly took place during their events over the weekend.
Swedish police have received over 35 reports of sexual assault against girls and young women at the Putte i Parken (‘Party in the Park’) festival, which took place in Karlstad on Friday and Saturday. The assaults allegedly included groping and other sexual misconduct, and no instances of rape, with the alleged victims aged between 12 and 17.
Police say they are searching for a number of male perpetrators, and have already arrested two boys who both live at a nearby asylum centre for unaccompanied refugee children.
17-year-old Alexandra Larsson has told The Daily Mail that she was groped at Putte i Parken on Friday night, by young men who she believes to be foreigners.
“Someone took the liberty of grabbing my butt really hard. I turned away and said to the group of boys behind us that this was not okay, but I did not know who had done it. After a while, I felt someone running his fingers between my legs touching my genitals,” she says.
“I turned around and screamed right out that ‘whoever it was – you’re a pig!’ I told my friends what had just happened and they were all shocked. Me and my girlfriends decided to leave the concert.”
As The Telegraph reports, Police have received reports of five rapes and 12 sexual molestations which allegedly took place at Sweden’s biggest music festival, Bråvalla, on the same weekend as Putte i Parken.
Mumford And Sons, who performed at this year’s Bråvalla festival, say they won’t play the event again until security is improved. In a statement posted to Facebook, the band say:
“We’re appalled to hear what happened at the Bravalla Festival last weekend. Festivals are a celebration of music and people, a place to let go and feel safe doing so. We’re gutted by these hideous reports.
“We won’t play at this festival again until we’ve had assurances from the police and organisers that they’re doing something to combat what appears to be a disgustingly high rate of reported sexual violence.”
Police press spokesman Thomas Agnevik, who was present at the Bråvalla festival, says more needs to be done to prevent such crimes from occurring.
“As long as these serious crimes are happening, of course not enough has been done. Nobody should have to go to a concert and leave as a rape victim,” he says (via The Local).
Mr Agnevik says that without the use of CCTV, it’s “impossible” to get a good view of a 20,000-strong audience.
“There’s camera surveillance at football matches; you agree to that when you buy the ticket,” he says. “I don’t think you want half the audience to be police officers.”
If you need assistance, 1800 RESPECT – the National Sexual Assault, Domestic and Family Violence Counselling Service — can be reached on 1800 737 732, while Lifeline can be reached on 13 11 14.