DF to call for harsher rape penalties

Socialdemokraterne also express support for increasing penalties

Several national politicians are speaking out about DenmarkÂ’s relatively lax penalties for sexual crimes and the absurdity that crimes like rape and pedophila result in lesser punishments than those for financial crimes.

The Dansk Folkeparti (DF) says it will introduce legislation toughening the penalties on those found guilty of abusing children.

“We are asking for harsher penalties and minimum sentences,” Peter Skaarup, DF party spokesman, told Ekstra Bladet. “It needs to be done now.”

Before leaving office, the former Venstre-Konservative (VK) government began an investigation of sexual offenses. The Council for Crime and Punishment (Straffelovrødet) says that report will be released in the summer. While some politicians are waiting for the results of the study, DF said there is no reason to delay. Regardless of when it might happen, there appears to be broad consensus among the political parties that the laws need to be changed.

“Personal assaults should be punished more severely than economic crimes. The penalties should reflect how violated the victims feel,” said Ole Hækkerup, the legal spokesperson for Socialdemokraterne.

Lawyer Sysette Vinding Kruse, however, told Ekstra Bladet that she doesn’t think changing the law will solve any problems and that the current statutes provide plenty of leeway to administer harsher penalties on both pedophiles and rapists than they receive today.