Fining victim for fighting off sexual attacker ‘is mad’

© Carlos Barria
It doesn’t correspond to democratic values when victims of crimes are becoming the felons in the system, says Jaleh Tavakoli, feminist blogger from Copenhagen. If this keeps on going, people won’t trust the police, she adds.

RT: Do you think the Danish law against the use of pepper sprays is irrelevant considering the recent attack?

Jaleh Tavakoli: …The Danish police are thinking about punishing a girl for protecting herself. Even though it is illegal to have a pepper spray, she used it to protect herself from being raped or sexually harassed. I know that a lot of girls – they do not contact the police at all because they are afraid of getting punished instead of the attacker... It is not a worthy democratic state if victims of crimes are becoming the felons in the system. And if this keeps on going, then people who use pepper spray won’t tell the police what happened to them and this of course brings a lot of uncertainty into the public space, because people don’t really trust the police and they don’t trust statistics when it comes to rape or sexual attacks. This is not good for our democracy ... In Germany and Sweden we’ve seen that the media don’t want to say who the attackers are. All of these things make people not believe in authorities. This is not a way to go. This reminds me of a totalitarian regime and not democracy…

READ MORE: ‘Unsafe on streets’: Danish women ‘sexually harassed’ by refugees in at least 3 towns

RT: Did personal security become an issue in Denmark today?

JT: It is an issue; we’ve never seen this before. About Christmas time police in Copenhagen stated that they don’t want women to go outside at night or in the evenings, they have to be careful and go in groups because there was this attacker of [non-Danish] ethnicity. We don’t know whether he was a refugee or foreigner of any other kind... Women don’t feel safe as they used to do. Of course, we have to be open and honest about it, we have to adapt. And even though we have these laws against pepper spray, police first should be going after the rapist but not prosecuting the victim for having pepper spray. It is mad…

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.