Controversial Policeman Back On the Job

11.11.2010
Words by Paul Nikolov
The police have reinstated Björgvin Björgvinsson - a policeman who said women who are raped while intoxicated should "bear some responsibility" for being raped - and he is back in his position as chief of the police's sex crimes division.

Björgvin made the remarks in an interview with DV last August. At the time, he brought up that many female victims of sexual assault were intoxicated on drugs or alcohol at the time of their attacks, and thus bear some of the blame. The remarks sparked a public outcry that extended all the way up to former Minister of Justice Ragna Árnadóttir, who told reporters that it was "out of the question" that victims of rape bear any responsibility for what happened to them.

Although Björgvin was soon thereafter removed from his position, he was still employed elsewhere on the force. Earlier today, Vísir reports, he was reinstated to his previous position.

Chief of Police Stefán Eiríksson, who made the request himself, told reporters that Björgvin was asked to review his position on the matter. Having done so, he was re-hired.

A statement from the police adds furthermore that Björgvin has the full trust of the force, and that he was instrumental in solving a recent murder case.

The initial statements from Björgvin drew the ire of many Icelanders, among them Guðrún Jónsdóttir, spokesperson for the sexual assault crisis center Stígamót. She told Vísir at the time that shr sincerely hoped Björgvin was misquoted, because if not, they would have to immediately express their lack of trust in him.

"It is against the law to rape a woman, regardless of what condition she's in," she added. "Behind every rape there is at least one rapist, and Björgvin says that women have themselves to blame if they are raped while drunk. With this, he is indirectly contending the innocence of the rapist who rapes a woman in another state of mind."

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