Denmark: Government commitment to amend rape law is a hard-won victory

Following the publication of a “Government agreement” committing itself to introduce consent-based rape legislation Amnesty International’s Women’s Rights Researcher, Anna Błuś, said:

“This commitment by the new government to amend Danish law to recognize the simple truth that sex without consent is rape in law is a welcome if long-overdue, step forward. It is a testament to all the survivors who have spoken out and all the campaigners who have fought long and hard for change.

“Together with the survivors campaigning for improved access to justice, we look forward to seeing the draft law and hope that the authorities also commit themselves to taking steps to challenge rape myths and gender stereotypes at all levels of society. This will require institutional and social change, as well as comprehensive sexuality and relationships education, including on sexual consent.

“Shockingly, Denmark will be only the tenth country in Europe (EEA) to recognize that sex without consent is rape. However, coming hard on the heels of the decision to amend the law in Greece this month, and legislation in Sweden last year, we are confident that the momentum for change in Europe and beyond is now unstoppable.”


Read the statement published today here:

Rape in Denmark is hugely under-reported and even when women do go to the police, the chances of prosecution or conviction are very slim. Of the 24,000 women found by a recent study to have experienced rape or attempted rape in 2017 alone, just 890 rapes were reported to the police. Of these, 535 resulted in prosecutions and only 94 in convictions.

Amnesty International has analysed rape legislation in 31 countries in Europe, and only nine of them have laws that define rape as sex without consent.