Denmark: Historic victory for women as law changes to recognise that sex without consent is rape

Responding to the passing of a bill in Denmark’s Parliament today that, once law, will finally recognise that sex without consent is rape, Amnesty International’s Women’s Rights Researcher, Anna Błuś, 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“This is a great day for women in Denmark as it consigns outdated and dangerous rape laws to the dustbin of history and helps to end pervasive stigma and endemic impunity for this crime.

This is a great day for women in Denmark as it consigns outdated and dangerous rape laws to the dustbin of history

Anna Blus, Amnesty International

“The new law falls short on being crystal clear in its commentary that passivity cannot be taken to mean consent but despite this weakness, it is nevertheless a huge step for Denmark”.

“This historic day did not come about by chance. It is the result of years of campaigning by survivors who, by telling their painful stories, have helped to ensure that other women do not have to go through what they endured.”

Incredibly, Denmark has become only the 12th country in Europe to recognise sex without consent as rape, although momentum for change is building

Anna Blus, Amnesty International

“Incredibly, Denmark has become only the 12th country in Europe to recognise sex without consent as rape, although momentum for change is building in other countries to amend their laws.

BACKGROUND

Following the passing of the bill and the Queens signature, Denmark will be only the 12th country in the European Economic Area to recognize that sex without consent is rape. Greece amended its rape definition in 2019 and Spain and the Netherlands recently announced plans to amend their national laws to recognize this fact.

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.

Every year, 11,400 women in Denmark are subjected to rape or attempted rape, according to the Danish Ministry of Justice. The University of Southern Denmark’s research estimates that this figure may have been as high as 24,000 in 2017. However, in 2019 just 1,017 rapes were reported to the police and only 79 resulted in convictions.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE Let’s Talk About Yescampaign here:

https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/campaigns/2018/11/rape-in-europe/

For more information or to arrange an interview contact [email protected]or Stefan Simanowitz [email protected]  or [email protected]  

BACKGROUND