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    Each year thousands of rapes go unpunished

    © Belga
    Koen Geens taken to task on unprosecuted rape cases. Danièle Zucker says more action and resources are needed to ensure prosecutions occur.
    © Belga

    Between 2010 and 2015, 50.21% of cases opened, following complaints of rape, were dropped. This is according to the response of the Minister of Justice, Koen Geens (CD&V), to the question asked by the deputy, Nele Lijnen (Open Vld). This is reported in both Het Laatste Nieuws and De Morgen.

    Some 60% of these cases were dropped for lack of evidence and 16% were dropped as the assumed perpetrator remained unknown. At least 140 files were not prosecuted due to staff shortages in police legal research teams. Consequently the number of files resulting in no action and rape sentences decreased year-on-year.

    However, “when a perpetrator appears before the court, all too often, he gets away with a light sentence.” This is the view of Danièle Zucker, a doctor in psychology who specialises in the sexual violence branch of that field.

    “The phenomenon is not always taken quite as seriously as it should be,” Zucker adds, arguing particularly in favour of the presence of a specialist in the sexual violence field within all of the emergency services.

    Lars Andersen
    The Brussels Times