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Danes to change law saying non-consensual sex is rape

September 3, 2020 GMT

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Denmark’s left-leaning parties have agreed to change the country’s sexual violence laws to allow sex without explicit consent to be prosecuted as rape.

The parties represent a majority of lawmakers in parliament. No date for a formal vote was announced, but the legal change is expected to be adopted by the end of 2020.

Under a deal reached by Denmark’s minority Social Democratic government and the left-wing parties, Danish law would specify that sexual consent must be given voluntarily and as an expression of an individual’s free will through words or action.


“This is one of the most important battles for gender equality in Denmark that has taken place for a very long time,” Justice Minister Nick Haekkerup said after the agreement was announced Wednesday. “We must have changed society’s understanding of what rape is, and a new consent-based rape provision is a milestone in that effort.”

Sweden, Germany, Belgium and Britain already have similar laws.