Prosecutor Concerned by Rising Violence in Sexual Offences

Héraðsdómur Reykjavíkur Reykjavík District Court

The Deputy District Prosecutor is concerned by rising instances of severe violence in sexual encounters leading to prosecution. Recent court cases have ruled that individuals cannot assume prior consent to the use of violence during sexual acts, RÚV reports.

An increase in aggression and violence

Excessive consumption of pornography is widespread but remains a hidden societal issue, according to an individual who opened up about his long-term porn addiction on the investigative news programme Kastljós last week.

Yesterday, RÚV spoke to Deputy District Prosecutor Kolbrún Benediktsdóttir who has significant experience prosecuting individuals for sexual offences: “I believe we are witnessing an increase in aggression and violence regarding sexual crimes. This leads one to speculate whether this is linked to a rise in the consumption of pornography and escalating brutality in porn,” she stated. “That’s perhaps the only explanation that comes to mind, although we haven’t specifically investigated this aspect of it.”

When asked what kind of violence she was referring to, Kolbrún replied thusly: “It appears as if we’re seeing more instances where individuals are resorting to such violence as choking, hair-pulling, pinching, biting, slapping, and even punching during sex – and even instances where the perpetrators are surprised that the other party had not consented to such behaviour,” Kolbrún explained. “Which leads one to wonder whether, among a certain group of people, a distorted perception of sex and what constitutes consent has emerged.”

Kolbrún pointed to two recent rape cases in the District Court and Supreme Court where extreme violence was used: “And, in both cases, the court’s conclusion – which I contend is very positive – was that individuals cannot assume that when engaging in a sexual act, they have prior permission to use violence, as was the case in these instances.”

Parliament Approves ISK 2.2 Billion for Aquaculture Oversight

fish farming iceland

Parliament has approved ISK 2.2 billion [$15.9 / €15 billion] in additional funding for aquaculture oversight, following concerns raised by the Icelandic National Audit Office, Mbl.is reports. Minister Svandís Svavarsdóttir highlighted measures already taken, including the purchase of underwater drones for monitoring and stressed the importance of preventing fish escapes from pens.

Funding increased based on reviews by National Audit Office

Svandís Svavarsdóttir, the Minister of Food, Agriculture and Fisheries, has revealed that Parliament has approved additional funding for the Marine & Freshwater Research Institute and the Icelandic Food and Veterinary Authority in relation to aquaculture, amounting to about ISK 2.2 billion [$15.9 / €15 billion] over the next five years, Mbl.is reports.

“This funding was decided and granted, among other reasons, due to the concerns raised in the administrative review by the Icelandic National Audit Office. The Food and Veterinary Authority has already, ten days ago, advertised six permanent positions for inspectors and veterinarians who will oversee this,” Svandís stated yesterday in a special discussion before Parliament about the accidental release of farmed salmon from open-net farms, initiated by Lilja Rannveig Sigurgeirsdóttir from the Progressive Party.

Svandís stated that the Food and Veterinary Authority had already taken measures that didn’t require legislative changes, such as – as pointed out in the aforementioned reviews by the Audit Office – changes in procedures regarding oversight of accidental release, the monitoring of the amount of feed going into pens, and placing more emphasis on internal supervision. The Food and Veterinary Authority has also invested in two underwater drones that will be used for specialised monitoring.

“Regarding penalties for major accidental releases and deficient internal oversight,” Svandís stated, “the recent escapes are being addressed at the appropriate administrative levels, and I cannot comment on them specifically. However, I can say that penalties will be reviewed in the bill that will be introduced in Parliament later this winter, and in the discussion of the preparations for that bill. In my opinion, no deviations should be without consequences.”

Svandís further emphasised the importance of preventing escapes and stated that farmed fish should be kept inside pens, not outside of them.

12-Year-Old Girl Suffers Injuries Following Drain-Cleaner Attack

Metropolitan Police

A twelve-year-old girl suffered severe facial injuries following an attack by a peer with powdered drain cleaner, RÚV reports. The attacker and his cohort, known to the victim, appear to have been inspired by dangerous content on YouTube. A detective with the Reykjavík Metropolitan Police urges parents to monitor their children’s online activity.

Nearby residents provided first aid

A twelve-year-old girl suffered severe facial injuries on Monday after being attacked by a peer, who threw powdered drain cleaner in her face. The incident took place on the grounds of a primary school in Reykjavik.

Having been struck by the substance in both her eyes and mouth, the girl managed to knock on the door of a nearby resident shortly after the attack. They provided her with first aid and called an ambulance.

Guðrún Jack, a detective with the Capital Area Police, told RÚV yesterday that this was the first case of its kind: “We, of course, take this very seriously. It’s obviously very dangerous, and something that the attackers had seen on YouTube.”

As reported by RÚV, the girl knew the boys who attacked her. They have been interviewed by the police and have provided statements. Guðrún revealed that the boys had searched for information on how to make a bomb on YouTube.

“They had been experimenting with bombs using drain cleaner, mixing the substance with water, putting it in a bottle, and shaking it. This causes an explosion. But in this case, the assailant was carrying the substance in a bag and threw it directly at the girl,” Guðrún noted.

Could have been much worse

The girl’s injuries could have been much worse: “I understand from her father that permanent eye damage was prevented thanks to those who assisted her. They reacted just in time.”

The case is under investigation and has been referred to Child Protection Services. Guðrún says the girl is convalescing and urges parents to monitor their children’s online activity: “We fault the parents, of course. That’s just the way it is. It’s our responsibility as parents to guide our children. And we must do our best in that regard.”