Person lying on a bed, other person getting off the bed
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In the new definition, rape would mean sex without active consent. Credit: Adam Wrafter/SvD/TT
Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, center, announcing the new draft law on Sunday, with deputy Prime Minister Isabelle Lövin and Minister for Justice and Home Affairs Morgan Johansson.
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Prime Minister Stefan Löfven, center, announcing the new draft law on Sunday, with deputy Prime Minister Isabelle Lövin and Minister for Justice and Home Affairs Morgan Johansson. Credit: Kicki Nilsson/TT
Elin Sundin, leader of the Fatta campaign for a consent law.
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Elin Sundin, leader of the Fatta campaign for a consent law. Credit: Phelan Chatterjee/Sveriges Radio

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.

Our journalism is based on credibility and impartiality. Swedish Radio is independent and not affiliated to any political, religious, financial, public or private interests.
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