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November 20, 2020 – Responding to the reading of a Bill in Denmark’s parliament today that, once law, will finally recognize that sex without consent is rape, Amnesty International’s Women’s Rights Researcher, Anna Błuś, said:

“We are now just one legislative stage away from Denmark finally recognising the simple fact that sex without consent is rape.

“This change to outdated and dangerous rape laws is a major step towards ending pervasive stigma and endemic impunity for this crime.”

Incredibly, it will be only the 10th country in Europe to recognise sex without consent as rape although a momentum for change is building with the Netherlands and Spain preparing to amend their laws.

Helle Jacobsen, Senior Advisor on Gender for Amnesty Denmark, said:

“This change didn’t happen by chance. The demand was led by survivors who told their stories and lobbied to try and ensure no other woman would have to endure what they had suffered.

“We urge Danish MPs to ensure that the new law is fully human rights compliant and not to delay rape survivors’ access to justice, as well as rape prevention any further.”

BACKGROUND

If the law is passed later this year, Denmark will be only the tenth 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, around 6,700 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 Yes” campaign here:

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