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Rape and sexual abuse are serious crimes in Finland
When a woman is out alone or clearly drunk, in some cultures she gives an impression of herself that she is a so called ”easy woman” who, for example, has several partners or consensual act of sex before marriage. For you who come from a foreign country where this is a usual way of thinking, it is good to understand that this is not the same in Finland. The equality between men and women and the way of thinking in these types of circumstances is different in Finland. A woman can be visibly drunk a little in a disco or a bar and even so, she is not a prostitute. Based on this, you can not think that you or any other man would have the right to make her have a sexual intercourse with you even by force. In general, if someone is drunk, it does not have anything to do with sexuality in Finland. The question is only about a Finnish alcohol culture. A relaxed attitude, often even too relaxed attitude, is a big part of that culture and so is drinking at a young age and, unfortunately, many people becoming addicted to alcohol. All of this causes deep disapproval in many people, especially people coming from the Muslim cultures. Finnish people drink far too much and it causes many problems.
It is, however, advisable to differentiate these things from each other. Forcing a woman against her will for a sexual intercourse, abusing her state of drunkenness or even getting her drugged in some way to be able to have sex with her, are all serious crimes in Finland as well as in the western countries in general of which particularly the offender is made liable for. In your own country, people may think that it is the woman’s fault, if she is found in that kind of situation and because of being an easy woman she deserves to be disgraced and neglected. People may also think in your religion that women following other religions can be used in any way you like. In your religion, the sex and women may be considered dirty and that the women try to seduce men into committing a sin. In front of the law in your country, the man’s reputation may be stronger when a woman starts accusing him of raping her.
However, the law is different in Finland. The actions of people here are considered according to the law. A man can not be freed of his legal responsibility because of religion or the culture of his previous country. In Finland, also forcing your own wife into unconcented sexual intercourse is considered rape and it is a punishable crime.
The adolescent and young adults should learn many basic facts about sexuality so that the wrong information would not lead them into committing crimes at the time when they get interested in sex. It is important they would learn to respect other people, have positive attitude toward equality and to protect themselves from abuse. Sexuality is not dirty, it is a part of being a human being. In this respect, the man is not pure and woman dirty. People from other culture, religion or country are not purer or dirtier than others when it comes to sexuality. No-one must be forced or manipulated into having a sexual intercourse against their will. A sexual intercourse between a person under the age of 16 and an adult is considered a crime in Finland and it carries a sentence of imprisonment. Abusing small children to gain sexual pleasure is also considered a very serious crime in Finland that you can get imprisoned from. If you have learnt to think very strongly in some other way about things, it could be that, for example, the people, who brought you up and taught you the things you know, did not know about anything else. Wrong attitudes and wrong ways of thinking at the wrong place could, however, lead into serious actions and the actions into serious consequences.
There were several rape cases in Oulu last winter where the accused were men with foreign backgrounds and the victims were Finnish women. The crimes were very brutal; scissors were used in one of them, a couple cases were rape by a group of people. Naturally, these kinds of crime cause hatred in Finnish people and make the prejudice they feel towards the foreigners stronger. When the prejudice gets stronger in the society, it causes great problems to all immigrants; getting employed is harder, they do not get treated equally and even the general safety is made poorer when the most aggressive Finnish people want to take revenge on the foreigners’ actions. In general, when the racism gets stronger, people do not want the immigrant any more in their country, as a neighbour or at their place of work.
As a parent, it is also your duty to, for example, teach your children that they must never force anyone into sexual intercourse. People must respect others no matter how different they are. You may also have to understand the Finnish alcohol culture and the behaviour of women in a different way to what you are used to.
Käännös: Keski-Suomen tulkkikeskus