A Danish teenager fought off a would-be rapist with pepper spray, and is now facing criminal charges because the use of pepper spray is illegal in Denmark, The Local is reporting.
The 17-year-old girl said she was attacked at around 10:00 p.m. last Wednesday night in the town of Sønderborg, a town of about 27,000 people, some 200 miles from Copenhagen.
Fortunately for the teen, she was able to fight off her assailant with pepper spray. Unfortunately, using pepper spray is illegal in Denmark, according to local police spokesman Knud Kirsten.
“It is illegal to possess and use pepper spray, so she will likely be charged for that.”
— Europa Guardian (@St_Gaz) January 26, 2016
The teen’s fine for possessing and using the pepper spray is likely to be 500 Danish Kroner (about $73), and already people are lining up to pay the fine for her, if the comments section of Denmark’s TVS News‘ article about the story is to be believed.
“I will be willing to pay for the fines. I do not know what dollars are in Denmark but I will contribute in some way to help. I think this is ridiculous to be punished for protecting yourself. This gives people more of a reason to escape punishment since the attackers wont get charged but the victim.”
In fact, sexual assault has become a major problem in Sønderborg recently. Women have reported being harassed by males living in a nearby asylum center for Syrian and Afghan refugees. And it’s a problem being repeated in other Danish cities as well, according to a January 13 report by The Local.
In nearby Thisted, asylum seekers living in a nearby refugee center have harassed women and girls, on the streets and in local dance clubs, according to Lars Sloth, the director of the city’s children and families unit.
“Several young women have felt unsafe on the streets, where they have been accosted by asylum seekers. The same thing has happened on the dance floor out in the nightlife.”
Local club promoter Glenn Hollender explains how the refugees are disrupting his club and making the experience uncomfortable for women.
“We must say that a large number of the male guests who come from the local asylum centre have a very hard time respecting the opposite sex. In my eyes, it is harassment when one or more men continue to touch a young woman after she has said ‘stop.'”
Nightclubs in some Danish cities are so fed up with local asylum-seekers harassing their female patrons that they’re refusing to allow guests who don’t speak Danish, German, or English.
Rafi Ibrahim, a Syrian who has been living in Denmark for the past several years, believes that part of the problem may stem from the fact that many refugees are coming from nations where women are not given the same amount of respect and protection that European women expect, and where sexual violence is a way of life.
The Danish police force, meanwhile, is under-manned and stretched too thin, according to Claus Oxfeldt, president of the Danish police union.
“There is a new reality in which there are new assignments that Danish police must carry out. And that has to be taken from the resources we had before. Of course this will have consequences for individual residents.”
The would-be rapist who was fought off by pepper spray has not been charged with a crime, as of this writing.
[Image via Shutterstock/arindambanerjee]