Tuesday, May 24

She was subjected to “torture-like” violence. But when the perpetrator was given leave from prison, she heard it by chance.

Kine Pedersen Aamodt says she panicked when she received the message that her former cohabitant was on leave in the same city where she lives.

Kine Pedersen Aamodt has today started a low-threshold offer for victims of violence and abuse.

In 2018, a man sentenced to 13 years in prison for violence against two women. According to the verdict, the violence was torture-like. The prosecution called it exceptionally rude and serious.

Kine Pedersen Aamodt was one of the offended. The man, her former cohabitant, was convicted in addition to the violence of 190 rapes against her.

Last weekend he was given leave from prison where he is serving the long sentence. Prisoners have the right to apply for leave after serving one third of the sentence.

But the message of leave never reached Aamodt.

It was the other woman the man had committed violence against, who contacted via Snapchat. She had been notified in a letter from Romerike prison. Aamodt says that she panicked when she read that the perpetrator was already on leave in the city.

– I checked doors and windows. I called the police, but they knew nothing about it, she tells Aftenposten.

She did not know if the leave was for a few hours, a weekend or many days.

– I called friends and family, everywhere I could imagine that he could look for me if he wanted revenge.

Convicted of aggravated rape, released without notice: – A gross failure

Others have had similar experiences.

In 2020, a young man was convicted of assault. He sought out a random house and claimed that he needed help. There he raped a woman in her 20s. He threatened her that he knew where she lived.

The man was sentenced to four years in prison. Two of them were conditional. Last summer he was released.

But only the following month was the woman informed that the man had been released. She says she heard about it by chance.

– He had gotten a home in the same city. I thought it was not possible, because I had not been told. But it was true. Neither my lawyer nor the police knew that, the woman told Aftenposten.

The woman’s lawyer, Heidi Ysen, confirms the story.

Heidi Ysen is the lawyer for a woman who was raped a few years ago. She says she has seldom seen such serious mistakes.

Ysen says she called both the public prosecutor and local police. No one knew about the release. It is a discretionary assessment whether an offended person should be notified, but Ysen believes it should have happened.

– I do not remember that I have experienced such a failure in such a serious case. It was a gross failure that should not have happened.

After the rape, the woman had to go to treatment. In the end, she managed to walk alone to the store again. But what must have been a miss from the prison, made it again go from bad to worse for the woman. She lives today with violence alarms.

– I knew he was going out one day. But I wanted to know that to prepare myself with a psychologist and family. I was terrified.

No duty to notify – girl met perpetrator on the street

The Prison and Probation Service informs Aftenposten that they do not have an overall overview of when prisons are not notified of victims properly. They have not registered many cases, but have from time to time received individual cases.

The law for the execution of sentences states that victims or survivors must be informed of the time of leave if it is relevant.

The reason is that victims should know that they can meet convicts, as a then 15-year-old woman experienced ten years ago.

She was only 14 years old when she was at a party in Western Norway. She tells Aftenposten that she fell asleep and was raped.

She was young, unfamiliar with interrogation, police and the judiciary. She never appeared in court. The case ended with the man being sentenced to five months in prison for sexual intercourse with children under 16, and not rape.

The woman, who was then 15 years old, says that neither she nor her parents were informed that the man was released after four months.

She knew nothing until she met the man on the street.

– He just smiled at me. I went completely into the freezer and panicked. It is ten years ago and the case is still a problem for me, the woman says.

As far as is practically possible, the aggrieved party must be notified in writing at least 14 days before the leave. It is, however no obligation to notify in all cases involving, for example, violence or sexual offenses. A discretionary assessment is made.

– I have worked a lot with myself, so that if I see someone similar to him on the street, then I can reassure myself that I know he is inside, says Kine Pedersen Aamodt.

In Kine Pedersen Aamodt’s case, the prison must have sent a letter. However, after she has been informed from prison, the letter must have been sent to the wrong address. Aamodt currently lives at a sheltered address as a result of the case with the ex-cohabitant.

The Prison and Probation Service has access to registered addresses, but must use the police for assistance if the victim lives at a sheltered address.

Opposite Aftenposten, the specific prison refers to a duty of confidentiality. They will not confirm the course of this specific case. They say they can not confirm or deny whether a person is serving a sentence in prison.

But the prison writes in an e-mail that they follow laws and routines for notifying victims. They state that they generally can not see that their routines related to notification have failed recently.

– Is it possible to use Digipost to ensure that such alerts appear regardless of address change?

– The Prison and Probation Service is carrying out a pilot project with Digipost for summons to imprisonment, and in the future it will be extended to other areas, where notification of victims in cases such as this will also be relevant.

– A blow to the body

Kine Pedersen Aamodt is critical of the fact that her former cohabitant was given leave in Oslo, where she herself lives. She says the man has been banned from visiting her.

– It put a shock in the body and aroused bad feelings. I’ve worked a lot with myself, so if I see someone similar to him on the street, I can reassure myself that I know he’s inside. I hope I can trust that I will be notified if it happens again, says Aamodt.

After the weekend, Aamodt has received confirmation that the man is back in prison. She herself shared the experience openly on Facebook this weekend.

Aamodt says she will in a meeting with the prison about how leave can be done in the future with the least possible burden. Most of all, she wants a reverse violence alarm. She says she is promised to be called on future leave.

Aamodt runs a low-threshold service on a daily basis for women who experience abuse and violence. She says she often receives inquiries from vulnerable women and that she has received feedback from others that the system is failing when it comes to notification.

– I think that is scary, she says.


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