Monday, July 29, 2019

Denmark: Red-Green Alliance announces victory push pass consent-based rape laws

Lisbeth Latham

On July 14, Denmark’s Red-Green Alliance or Enhedslisten (United List) announced that the governing Social Democrats and Social Liberals parties in Denmark’s Parliament had agreed to pass consent-based rape laws, this follows the agreement to support the new laws made by the Conservatives and Liberal parties in March. The announcement marks a significant and further step in shifting Scandinavian rape laws away from being based on violence and coercion and towards questions of consent.

As the Enhedslisten statement said, “sex without consent isn’t sex”.

[text reads: "A victory for Unity List Consent-based rape legislation A step in the right direction”

Enhedslisten had unsuccessfully sought to change Denmark’s legislation in November 2018, when the then governing Conservatives, Liberals, Liberal Alliance parties had refused to back the change supported by all of Denmark’s left and centre-left parties. The changes which will define sex without explicit consent as rape. In doing so it becomes just the tenth EU country to do so, and the second Scandinavian country after Sweden introduced similar laws in 2018.

The Local on March 12 pointed out, the new laws would shift the burden of proof onto alleged perpetrators to demonstrate that consent had been given and that the survivor was in a state to give consent. At present survivors are required to demonstrate that the accused is proved to have had sex with somebody who tried to, or was unable to, stop the act. The changes are expected to significantly lift the potential for rape convictions and make complaint processes easier for survivors.

While changing the legal framework regarding is important in challenging sexual violence it’s insufficient and much work still needs to be done around towards attitudes around sexual activity which see access to another person’s body as a right.


Lisbeth Latham is a contributing editor to the Irish Broad Left


About This Blog

Revitalising Labour attempts to reflect on efforts to rebuild the labour movement internationally, emphasising the role that left-wing political currents can play in this process. It welcomes contributions on union struggles, internal renewal processes within the labour movement and the struggle against capitalism and imperialism.

  © Blogger templates The Professional Template by 2008

Back to TOP  

Creative Commons Licence
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 Australia License.