Law would redefine rape as 'sex without consent'

4:24 min

Swedish law currently defines rape as forcing sex through violence or threats, or taking advantage of someone in a vulnerable position. From July, only active consent will matter.

Yesterday, the government proposed rape be redefined as sex without active consent. Elin Sundin, leader of the Fatta sexual consent campaign, hailed this as a victory.

Two new crimes will be added to the penal code: "negligent rape" and "negligent sexual assault". These will make it illegal to have sex without obtaining active consent.

Anne Ramberg, president of the Swedish Bar Association, has argued that the new laws will not increase convictions, as cases will still boil down to the perpetrator's word against the survivor's. Sundin, however, insisted that the negligence laws will make it easier to convict.

The proposal is expected to gain cross-party support and enter into force on 1 July 2018.