Swedish Feminist Group: A Swedish feminist group is soliciting donations to cover fines that are imposed by courts after a successful defamation prosecution.
The Defamation Fund or Fortalskassan is the compensation mechanism in response to the increase in lawsuits filed by men who were accused of sexual harassment or sexual assault.
The women who accused the men were encouraged by the #MeToo movement. The fund was launched by a group of influential feminists including journalist and author Maria Sveland and actor Lo Kauppi. In 2018, Sweden changed the definition of rape to include any acts conducted without consent. Due to this there was a 75 percent hike in conviction rates as reported by the National Council on Crime Prevention.
Some activists state that women in Sweden need stronger protection for sex offenders. They blame Sweden’s defamation laws for discouraging victims from speaking up. Someone publicly accused of committing a serious crime can file for a public prosecution of their accuser. Womn found that Swedish courts are not tolerant of social media posts that condemn someone as a rapist.
Since the premise of the #MeToo movement is advocating for women to publicly name their alleged assaulters, the practice of defamation foes against the #MeToo movement. In Sweden women have been convicted of gross slander, with the punishment usually being a suspended sentence and an order to pay damages.
The Swedish feminist group Defamation Fund believes that the laws are being used to victimise women for exposing their abusers. Maria Sveland stated that the group “wants to see a future where sexual harassment and sexual crimes are handled fairly by society.”
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