First convictions in Sweden by sex without consent

The conviction for abuses of the five members of the herd for sexual assault on a girl in the Sanfermines in 2016 led to the emergence of the debate on the need to reform the penal code and to change the classification of sexual offenses. A few weeks later, a law went into effect in Sweden. Since July 1st, the Penal Code of this Nordic country believes that any sexual act without explicit consent is a crime.

The regulation is based on the premise that sex is always voluntary and that, therefore, there is no need for violence, threats or that the victim is in a particularly vulnerable situation because the sexual act is considered a violation , but simply that one of the two parties did not express their consent "with words or body language". In Spain, the Codification Commission – a non-binding agency – is reviewing the current definition of sexual offenses. Next Thursday they will meet for the third time. Its mission is to assess whether violence or intimidation should continue to be requirements to talk about rape.

In Sweden, the already known as a law of consent It includes two new crimes, rape and negligent sexual abuse, with imprisonment for up to four years. Five months later, the Swedish courts have already issued the first sentences. "We have a new game card: situations that previously could be considered sexual abuse are now being proven to be violations," says attorney Christina Voigt on the public radio station Sveriges Radio. According to the chain, the regulation played a decisive role in at least four sentences.

Voigt acted as an attorney in one of the first cases in which a man was sentenced to two years in prison for rape after having sex with a woman without making sure that she wanted him too. "It's not a very unusual situation: she was tired, a bit drunk, and when she noticed it, it was over," explained Voigt, who also stressed that with the previous legislation, the man would be He was sentenced only for abuse or harassment.

Campaign for young people

With the entry into force of the new law, the Swedish government has commissioned an information campaign for young people from the Compensation and Support to Victims of Crime Authority. On the website, aimed at young people between the ages of 13 and 25, it clarifies situations where sex can be a crime. Emphasize that every time a person wants to have sex with another he must make sure that this person really wants him, asking him. It also stresses that the right to change the mind regardless of who took the initiative must be respected. Finally, he emphasizes that consenting to a type of sexual act does not imply an absolute yes. It's not the same thing, it stands out, wants to keep oral sex that vaginal penetration. Before the campaign, the government commissioned a survey to find out what young people think of the law: 90% of girls are in favor, only 63% of boys.

The web presents examples of situations that are never voluntary: if a person participates in a sexual act forced by violence or threats or is in a situation of vulnerability, for example, if he has drunk or is not well. Or if the person is very frightened and paralyzed – a situation that resembles that of the Flock. Finally, sex will always be a crime in which someone abuses his position of superiority, for example, a teacher with a student, or a boss with a worker, and even if the other person is under the age of 15. These hypotheses also apply to people who pay for a sexual service. In these cases, sex is always illegal, regardless of whether the person has expressed or not that he wants to have relationships.

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