Rape victims often questioned without legal representative

State prosecutor believes many offenders are not convicted as a result

Only one in five reported rapes in Denmark leads to a conviction (photo: iStock) Only one in five reported rapes in Denmark leads to a conviction (photo: iStock)
January 6th, 2016 10:39 am| by Lucie Rychla
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Victims of rape are often not offered the assistance of a legal representative when questioned by the Danish police, complains the state prosecutor, Gyrithe Ulrich.

According to Ulrich, police tend to forget to inform rape victims they are entitled to have a legal representative by their side while giving their statement.

“This can lead to proceedings of a poorer quality and may mean not all cases that could potentially end up in court get there,” Ulrich told DR.


Few are convicted
“Many victims are actually afraid to tell the whole story when they are questioned [by the police], but may want to tell it to their lawyer.”

In Denmark, only one in five reported rapes leads to the offender being convicted.

In the years 2011-2014, some 1,977 rapes were reported, 1,452 people were charged and 390 of them were then convicted.

True story
Tonight at 20:30, DR1 is showing a documentary called ‘I was raped’ that reconstructs the case of Stine Søholt , who was raped by two men after a Christmas party in 2011.

Søholt was not offered a legal representative when she was giving her statement to the police and neither of the men were convicted.

“I cannot help but wonder if the case would have ended differently if I had a lawyer from day one,” Søholt told DR.