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Denmark strengthens rape laws, outlawing sex without explicit consent

Denmark has toughen its rape laws by criminalising sex without explicit consent.

The new law approved by parliament on Thursday also spreaded the circumstances that could constitute rape – as per the old legislation, prosecutors had to prove the rapist had used violence or attacked someone who was unable to resist.

“Now it will be clear, that if both parties do no consent to sex, then it’s rape,” the justice minister, Nick Haekkerup, said in a statement.

A similar law introduced in neighbouring Sweden in 2018 contributed in a 75% surge in rape convictions, to 333.

About 11,400 women a year are raped or to attempted rape in Denmark, according to the ministry’s figures.

Amnesty International said Denmark had become the 12th country in Europe to accept non-consensual sex as rape.

Anna Blus, a women’s rights researcher at Amnesty, said. “This is a great day for women in Denmark as it consigns outdated and dangerous rape laws to the dustbin of history and helps to end pervasive stigma and endemic impunity for this crime.”

The law will be effective from January 1st.

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