Minister of the Interior Ögmundur Jónasson is proposing a bold change to sex crime laws in Iceland regarding children – one that child and sexual abuse experts have long called for.
As it stands now, the statute of limitations for sexual abuse against a child is anywhere from four to ten years from the crime’s commission. RÚV reports that the minister has proposed that the countdown towards the end of the statute of limitations not begin until the victim has reached 18 years of age.
Such a change to the laws would enable victims of sexual abuse to be able to begin thinking about the process of pressing charges upon entering adulthood, instead of having to make the choice to press charges and testify or not as a child, which can be a considerably more frightening prospect for a child.
But this isn’t the only change Ögmundur would like to see in this area. He has also put forward that the act of attempting to seduce, bribe or blackmail a child into committing a sex act – even if the child refuses and the trap fails – would be a punishable offense. Ögmundur mentioned that there had been cases in Iceland of suspects having to be released from police custody for committing such acts.