Sexual offences in Denmark: Results from a National Survey

Marie Bruvik Heinskou, Laura Marie Schierff, Peter Ejbye-Ernst, Camilla Bank Friis, Lasse Suonperä Liebst

Research output: Contribution to conference without publisher/journalConference abstract for conferenceResearchpeer-review


During the last years, the question of whether or not Denmark suffers from an increasing culture of violation mirroring incidents of rape and sexual coercion has been a hot topic. Thus, the low number of convictions and the complexities of the reported cases has brought about questions to be answered. Statistically, the number of reported rape incidents has increased substantially from roughly 200 reports in the 1960’s to 791 reported incidents in 2016. Being the lowest number of reports in Scandinavia, the ability of the Danish police as well as the Danish criminal justice system in handling rape cases has been questioned. The aim of the paper is to present the actual prevalence of sexual offences in Denmark and to investigate the various forms of offenses and their distributions among men as well as women. Thus, this paper work with a conceptualization of rape having both men and women as potential victims and will deploy a bottom-up empirical approach in developing new typologies of sexual offences sensible to situational characteristics. The paper is overridingly concerned with: 1) The number of victims of the various forms of offences. 2) The characteristics of the incidents
The paper addresses the question of a dark figure of crime as well as a supposed hidden population of male victims and is consequently developed as a two-stage survey project. The population of interest is men and women above the age of 18 who potentially are victims of sexual offences. The analysis will initially take the form of descriptive statistics similar to those presented in existing victim survey reports (e.g. Pedersen et al. 2015) but will additionally present a latent class analysis which is viable in identifying distinct classes or ideal types of a given phenomenon (Hagenaars and McCutcheon 2002). As such, the analysis will be carried out with the ambition of clarifying various subtypes of offences characterised by a varying degree of severity, situational characteristics, etc. as well as challenging existing conceptualizations of sexual offences.
The data collection has been carried out in collaboration with TNS Gallup and is collected in two phases. In the first phase, reports from 3.000 Danish men and women is collected. In this phase, the objective is to estimate the actual prevalence of sexual offences and their relative prevalence among men and women. As such, the first phase of data collection serves to illuminate the prevalence of the phenomenon. The second phase, reports from 150.000 Danish men and women. This data is collected through social medias/medias (Facebook, collaboration with NGOs and the Danish medias (newspapers and broadcasting) from this data we identify six different types of sexual offences.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Publication statusPublished - 2017
EventDanish Sociological Conference 2018 -
Duration: 25 Jan 201826 Jan 2018


ConferenceDanish Sociological Conference 2018

Fingerprint Dive into the research topics of 'Sexual offences in Denmark: Results from a National Survey'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this