Each week, four cases of rape involving two or more violators are reported in Belgium, according to criminal report figures from the Belgian federal police.
In the first half of 2018, 106 reports of gang rape were lodged with law enforcement authorities nationwide.
In the Brussels Capital Region, 39 reports were made last year, with 28 more in Charleroi and 26 in Liege, according to La Libre and Sudpresse, who obtained the figures.
According to the police figures, the numbers represent an average of four cases reported every week in Belgium.
On average, between 2009 and 2012, authorities received 250 reports of gang rape per year.
In 2017, a year in which the #MeToo movement against sexual harassment went viral around the globe, 212 cases were reported.
But authorities warned that the numbers did not necessarily reflect the actual number of gang rapes since most cases are left unreported.
“We tend to think that only 10 to 15 per cent of victims file a complaint,” Virginie Bäy, who runs a centre specialised in victims of sexual assault in Liege told Sudpresse.
The count of reported cases in other cities and provinces in Belgium is slightly lower. In Namur, Luxembourg and Brabant Wallon five cases were reported last year, and a single case was reported in Eupen, a German city in in the province of Liege.
The publication of the figures follows the arrest on Monday of seven youths for the gang rape of a minor in the town of Chaudfontaine, in Liege.
The perpetrators, five of whom are minors, streamed the rape on social media platform Snapchat, and Liege’s public prosecutor confirmed they had confessed after the victim had filed a complaint.
The Brussels Times