The second wave of coronavirus could trigger an increase in sexual violence

Europol has determined the frequency of sexual crimes during coronavirus lockdown. According to their report, one sexual offense takes place every two minutes. Wherein, women and children are more often the targets of rape.

Every two minutes, the police of the European Union receive a report of a sex crime, whether it is assault or rape. Experts are concerned that during the second wave of the coronavirus, harassment and sexual rape may increase. According to the Europol press release, ‘anyone can be a victim of sexual assault, although women and children suffer the most at the hands of these violent criminal acts.’

The organization has already launched a campaign in 18 European countries, including Belgium, to find sex offenders. The EUmostwanted contains information about those who are suspected or convicted of criminal acts. Any witness or victim can report a crime anonymously on the Most Wanted website. The information received is passed on to the police.

In June of this year, Europol reported an increase in the sexual exploitation of children via the Internet while isolated from COVID-19. Criminals viewed isolation as ‘a tempting opportunity to access a broader group of potential victims.’

Text: Ekaterina Gril, photo: Wally Gobetz (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)