Dutch sailor demands compensation from British Navy for alleged rape
A Dutch sailor is going to court in the United Kingdom to demand compensation for emotional damage she suffered as a result of an alleged rape by a British officer, her lawyer told Trouw.
Trouw reports the now 21-year-old woman worked on the minesweeper Willemstad, which participated in a NATO mission in 2020. During a party for all crew members on the multi-ship mission in Oslo’s harbor, a British officer raped her in a broom closet, she says.
Although the sailor reported the incident to police in Oslo at the time, she and her lawyer, Michael Ruperti, say there is still no progress in the criminal case two years later. NATO countries must prosecute their own soldiers, but Norwegian authorities took a year to officially transfer the case to the British Royal Navy Police, Trouw reports.
Several other mistakes were made in the case, Ruperti said. The commander of the Dutch sailor’s ship did not file a report on the rape. Trouw’s analysis also shows the investigation into the rape was initially closed, without giving the sailor the opportunity to tell what had happened to her.
Ruperti called the lack of progress a “second trauma” for his client, adding that her story shows that the cases of women soldiers affected by sexual violence are largely dependent on how well the country with jurisdiction addresses the issue.