sexual offence Iconspeaker_3
[het ze-den-de-lict, de ze-den-de-lic-ten] Zeden

Lots of sexual offences, especially against kids, have made the news recently. Criminal offences of a sexual nature are usually referred to as a "zedendelict" or "zedenmisdrijf", but a "zedendelict" can in principle comprise all offences against morals or social mores. "Zeden" is an old Dutch word for morals, customs, or social mores, which is hardly used in another context than that of sexual harrassment, sexual abuse, incest or rape. "Delict" is an offence, often a criminal one. 

– "Het kindermisbruikschandaal op een Amsterdams kinderdagverblijf is een van de grootste zedendelicten van de afgelopen jaren." 
("The child abuse scandal at a day-care centre in Amsterdam is one of the largest sexual offences in the past years.")

– "Zijn ongewenste intimiteiten ook zedenmisdrijf?" 
("Is sexual harassment also a sexual offence?")

– "De zedendelinquent werd veroordeeld tot 4 jaar gevangenisstraf." 
("The sex offender was sentenced to four years in jail.")

– "De Katholieke Kerk is betrokken bij een omvangrijk zedenmisdrijfschandaal." 
("The Catholic Church is involved in a large-scale sexual offence scandal.")

– "Zedenleer is de leer van de zeden, of de ethiek." 
("Moral philosophy is the philosophy of moral, or ethics.")

Related words:
– Ongewenste intimiteiten: sexual harassment [literally: unwished-for intimacies][noun] [<no singular>, de intimiteiten].
– Aanranding: assault [noun] [de aanranding, de aanrandingen].
– Verkrachting: rape [noun] [de verkrachting, de verkrachtingen].
– Incest: incest [noun] [de incest, <no plural>].
– Zedendelinquent: sex offender [noun] [de zedendelinquent, de zedendelinquenten].

As mentioned in previous posts, "een meisje van lichte zeden" is "a girl of easy virtue". This is one of the few times when "zeden" is used in Dutch language in a meaning other than "zedendelict".

One thought on “Zedendelict

  1. Indeed – ‘zeden’ does not correlate with ‘sex’ and recently I struggled with ‘zedenmisdrijf’ in a Dutch class.

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