Reporting of sexual assaults in Turkey rise 400 pct in 9 years

November 08, 2012, Thursday/ 16:09:00/ TODAY'S ZAMAN

Reports of sexual assault in the country have increased by 400 percent over the last nine years, with the highest number of sexual assault cases occurring in the western Black Sea region, the Zonguldak chief public prosecutor has said.

The prosecutor, Veli San, said that while there were 8,146 case files on violations of Articles 102, 103, 104, 105 and 230 of the laws on Sexual Crimes against Children and Offenses against Sexual Immunity of the Turkish Penal Code (TCK) back in 2002, this figure increased to 32,988 last year, corresponding to a 400 percent rise.

San revealed the figures during his presentation “Sexual assaults in Turkey and the western Black Sea region and statistical information” at the 9th Anatolian Forensic Science Congress, held at Bülent Ecevit University in Zonguldak on Wednesday.

San underlined that the number of reports of sexual assault in the western Black Sea region was higher than the average number of incidents in Turkey. While there were 196 case files on sexual assaults in Zonguldak in 2002, the figure increased to 343 in 2011. Giving some examples from the provinces in the region, San said there were 40 such case files in Sinop in 2002 but that this figure increased to 157 last year. The number of case files in Karabük was 50 in 2002 and 155 last year. While there were 22 case files in Bartın in 2002, last year the figure was 94. Finally, the number of case files in Kastamonu, which was 74 in 2002, increased to 208 last year. San noted that sexual assault cases constitute about 5 percent of total cases in Turkey but that this ratio was 10 percent in the western Black Sea region.

San also said that sexual assault can even occur between spouses. Furthermore, if someone sexually assaults his or her spouse, the aggrieved can file a complaint. “Apart from their expectation of fidelity, spouses have an expectation to fulfill each other's sexual desires. But this expectation is not without limits. Spouses should be aware of the limits. If these limits are exceeded and one of the spouses sexually assaults the other, he or she can file a complaint against the offender, which would open the way to an investigation.”

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