On Thursday, Denmark strengthened the laws that sex without explicit consent will be considered as rape. Denmark became the 12th country in Europe to categorise that the absence of consent will amount to rape.
This criminalisation not only covers the loopholes related to rape laws but also widens its horizon to provide justice to the maximum. The country’s law needed a proof of violence, attack, visual bodily injuries or victims’ inability to fight back the assault. But now all these factors were made to sit aside and add the concept of consent which is indeed important.
The country’s justice minister Nick Haekkerup said in a statement: “Now it will be clear, that if both parties do no consent to sex, then it's rape.”
Nordic countries, including Denmark, have long been considered among the safest for women, consistently topping the annual gender equality index. However, demands to amend the law have been intensifying over the years as survivors and rights groups have pointed out how the system puts the burden of proof of violence on the victim and fails to recognise freezing up as a common response to assault.
For long, rights groups had been demanding to categorise sex without consent as rape. The country recognises marital rape and includes acts other than sexual intercourse in its legal definition of rape. But it’s only the 12th country in Europe to categorise lack of clear consent as a decisive factor in determining rape.