In 2022 24,656 sexual offences were reported, out of which 9,635 were rapes. In the Swedish Crime Survey, 4.7 per cent of the respondents stated that they were the victim of a sexual offence in 2022.
Please note that the statistics here refer to both sexual offences as a broader term, including sexual molestation etc., as well as rape as a specific offence.
Self-reported victimisation due to a sexual offence. Percentage. The results regarding victimisation in 2006–2015 have been recalculated as the Swedish Crime Survey was carried out using a different method in this period Source: SCS
In the Swedish Crime Survey (Nationella trygghetsundersökningen - NTU), 4.7 percent of the population (aged 16–84) state that they were a victim of a sexual offence in 2022, which is a small increase since 2021 (4.5%). The prevalence rate remained relatively unchanged during the period 2006–2011 but then increased almost every year until 2017. A declining trend was then noted from 2018 up to and including 2021.
Women (7.8%) state significantly more often that they were victims of a sexual offence than men (1.2%) in 2022.
There are large differences between age groups. The prevalence rate for both men and women is greatest in the age group 20–24, where 29.2 percent of women state they were exposed to a sexual offence, and 4.4 percent of men.
Of the population (aged 16–84), 0.9 percent state that they were a victim of a sexual offence involving the use of force in 2022, which is approximately the same level as 2021 (0.8%).
The prevalence rate is significantly higher among women (1.5%) than men (0.3%) in 2022.
There are large differences between age groups. The proportion for men is largest among people in the 25–44 age bracket, where the prevalence is 0.6 percent. For women the prevalence rate is significantly higher among young people in the 16–24 age bracket, where the proportion is 5.3 percent.
Of the population (aged 16–84), 0.7 percent state that they were a victim of a sexual offence involving the exploitation of a defenceless condition in 2022, which is the same level as 2021. The prevalence rate has been relatively unchanged since 2017 (it was slightly lower in 2016).
The prevalence rate is significantly higher among women (1.2%) than men (0.2%).
There are large differences between age groups. The proportion for both men and women is largest among young people in the 16–24 age bracket, 5.8 percent among women and 0.8 percent among men.
The percentage of people who, 2023, are often concerned about being a victim of rape or another type of sexual assault is 11 percent of the population (aged 16–84), which is approximately at the same level as in 2022 (10%). The proportion has remained at a relatively stable level since 2017.
It is significantly more common for women (18%) to be concerned about being a victim of rape or another type of sexual assault than men (2%).
The proportion is highest in the 20–24 age bracket, among both men and women. However, the proportion is significantly higher among women (43%) in this age group, than among men (3%).
Number of reported sex offences: all reported offences, of which sexual molestation and rape (including aggravated). Source: Reported offences
In 2022 22,656 sexual offences were reported, which represents a decrease of 11 per cent since 2021. There was a 9 per cent decrease in the number of reported rape offences, with 9,635 rapes being registered in 2021 (including cases of so called negligent rape). The number of reported crimes of sexual molestation decreased by 10 per cent by comparison with the figure for 2021, to 10,181 cases.
In the Swedish system, individual reports regarding a great number of offences may affect and give rise to variations in the statistic. For instance, when a single case is reported that turns out to involve hundreds or even thousands of instances of offences committed against an individual over the course of many years, every single incident is recorded as an offence in the year it was reported. It is also important to remember that non-reporting is particularly extensive for sex offences and changes in the inclination to report can affect the number of rapes in the statistic.
Far-reaching changes in the legislation were made on 1 April 2005. This legislation entails, among other things, that certain acts which were previously classified as sexual exploitation are now classified as rape. The effect of the statutory change appeared in the statistics such that the number of reported offences in respect of sexual coercion and exploitation declined in the years immediately following the statutory change while the number of reported rapes increased.
There are no international standards for how crime statistics should be produced and presented and this makes international comparisons difficult. Keep in mind that comparisons between countries on the basis of crime statistics require caution since such statistics are produced differently in different countries. Criminal statistics do not provide a simple reflection of the level of crime in a given country. Criminal statistics are influenced by both legal and statistical factors, and by the extent to which crime is reported and registered. These factors can vary from one country to another.
Person-based clearance rate² for rape offences and sexual molestation. Source: Processed offences
In 2022, 9,436 rape offences were processed, 7 per cent less compared with the previous year¹. Investigations were commenced for 95 per cent of the processed rape offences, while 5 per cent were dismissed with no investigation. The person-based clearance rate² for rape offences in 2022 was 21 per cent. Person-based clearance means that a person suspected of the offence has been tied to the offence through an indictment, the issuance of a summary sanction order, or the issuance of a waiver of prosecution.
The conviction rate² was 22 per cent for 2022. Since investigations were commenced for most processed rape offences, the conviction and person-based clearance rates are essentially at the same level.
¹) The statistic for processed offences reports the number of reported offences where the police, public prosecutor, or other investigatory authority has taken a decision regarding the offence.
²) Person-based clearance means that a person suspected of the offence has been tied to the offence through an indictment, the issuance of a summary sanction order, or the issuance of a waiver of prosecution. The person-based clearance rate reports the number of offences with person-based clearances during one year as a percentage of the number of processed offences during the same year. As from 2014, an adjusted person-based clearance rate is reported. The metric is essentially structured in the same way as previously, however, it is calculated based on all processed offences instead of all reported offences. The conviction rate reports the number of person-based clearances during one year as a per cent of all investigated offences, excluding offences with limitations of investigation during the same period.
On 1 July 2018, changes were made to the legislation concerning rape, meaning that the law is now based upon the absence of consent instead of the occurrence of violence, threats or a particularly vulnerable situation. The new law was welcomed by many people as constituting an important societal signal, but there were also concerns (particularly from lawyers) that it would be difficult to apply.
Brå has studied the characteristics of reports of rape of adult women, how the investigative work is conducted, and the reasons why so many investigations are dropped. The courts’ operations are also explored. Finally, a smaller study has been conducted concerning whether different groups of persons suspected of rape are treated equally by the criminal justice system.
This summary presents the overall results of the Swedish Crime Survey (SCS) 2023. The results of the report are summarised and broken down into the following areas of inquiry: exposure to crime, fear of crime, confidence in the criminal justice system, and crime victims' contact with the criminal justice system.