Are Norwegian men physically abusive
In the papers she is called "Liv". The photo shows only her back, her story shows the failure of an entire society.
Liv grew up in Northern Norway, in a small town by the fjord. When she was 14, a teacher reported Liv's father. The man had sexually abused his own daughter and other girls. The police came by boat and Liv's father was later imprisoned for four and a half years. What she hasn't told anyone for a long time: After that, it only got worse. Because when her father was gone, Liv became "fair game" in the village, a total of eleven other men had offended her. It went on like this for ten years until Liv was an adult. The daily newspaper Verdens gang has spoken to other victims, all from the same community, all of whom have been abused and some have been raped. The article was published in the summer of 2016 under the title "A Dark Secret".
The Norwegians are only finding out how dark it is now, a year and a half later. The police have investigated in Tysfjord, that is the name of the municipality on the fjord of the same name, with 2,000 inhabitants. The investigators assume 151 cases of sexual abuse, including 43 rape. There were 82 victims, the youngest was four, the oldest 75 years old, but most of them were underage girls. Among the alleged 92 perpetrators are three women who claim to have been abused themselves. Two thirds of the cases are statute-barred, the oldest being 64 years ago. Liv is also over 30 years old today. In Norway one wonders how this could happen. And why nobody intervened.
Most of the perpetrators and their victims are said to have been seeds
Tysfjord is located in Northern Norway. The 2000 inhabitants are spread over several villages that belong to the municipality, between them mainly water and rocks lie, Oslo is 1000 kilometers away, as the crow flies. Although the fjord is popular with tourists, the people here live out of the way. The village where the newspaper researched is called Drag. Many of the inhabitants are Sami and belong to the indigenous people of Scandinavia. Most of the perpetrators and their victims are also said to have been Sami, according to the police, and at the same time devout Protestants and Laestadians. This mixture, the police have indicated, is the explanation for the silence.
Lars Magne Andreassen, director of the Sami cultural center in Tysfjord, says he has known about the problem for years. His center had exhibitions and seminars on sexual abuse and support for those who wanted to break the silence. The police figures were still a shock to him. Andreassen describes his feeling as a mixture of pain and pride. Pain in the face of the tragic fate of some of the victims. And pride for going public, finally.
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