It was a Saturday night in November when Saga Helin, 21, and Johanna Karlsson, 21, drove by car in Norrköping. They had been at home with a mutual friend, and Johanna was going to shoot Saga home-when they saw a man in the street who was acting strangely.
– Then we saw that he was following a woman on her way to a park. We got a bad stomach feeling and decided to drive further, says Johanna.
They circulated around the park to make sure the woman was in order.
After about ten minutes it turned out that Saga and Johanna were right in following their gut feeling.
– We have come across an attempted rape and decided to intervene, Saga says.
"The man chose to run"
They describe how the man acted violently and the woman resisted. By pure impulse the friends got out of the car, ran to the man and started screaming.
– It went very fast. It was late at night and we were clearly scared, but I think our gut feeling was stronger than fear, Saga says.
Johanna agrees and says that they had telephone contact with the police before they decided to intervene.
– The man chose to run away when we asked what he was doing. I took care of the woman and Saga drove him away from the spot.
Praised by the police in Norrköping
The police arrived just a few minutes later, telling friends. Thanks to the testimony of Saga, Johanna and the affected woman, the man could be arrested – and on Friday he was sentenced, almost two months after the attempted rape.
The perpetrator received a year and six months in prison for attempted rape, the Norrköping police wrote on Facebook. There they also praise Saga and Johanna and write that they have nominated the friends for Medallions of the Year & # 39 ;.
– Of course it feels extremely good. It is partly due to our intervention, because it has become a conviction. It feels good that we have removed this man from the street, says Johanna.
– It was emotional and unreal. There is a sense of justice, Saga says.
"Lack of respect for others"
The friends hope that the attention given will inspire others to act in emergency situations. The hope is that the civil war will increase, they say.
At the same time, they explain that the knowledge that only a few rapes have led to convicted offenders led to great frustration for all involved, even during this legal process.
– No one should travel around a park in the middle of the night because a woman should not be raped. Somewhere it is a lack of respect for others, it needs to be alleviated even more, says Saga.