COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — In a story Dec. 20 about a new sexual assault law being proposed in Sweden, The Associated Press reported erroneously, based on comments from Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin, what the law would do. The law would require people to get explicit consent before sexual contact, but it would not shift the burden of proof from the victim to the alleged attacker.
A corrected version of the story is below:
Sweden moves to require explicit consent for sex
Sweden’s government wants to legislate a consent law that could mean more sexual assault and rape cases could be prosecuted before Swedish courts
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By JAN M. OLSEN
Sweden is moving to change its rape law in a proposal that would require people to get explicit consent before sexual contact.
Deputy Prime Minister Isabella Lovin said the recent #metoo anti-harassment campaign “has shown that there is a need” for the new legislation, which is expected to be approved Thursday in Parliament.
Under current Swedish law, someone can be prosecuted for rape only if it is proven that they used threats or violence. Under the proposal, rape could be proven if the accuser didn’t give their explicit verbal agreement or clearly demonstrate their desire to engage in sexual activity.
Prime Minister Stefan Lofven said his coalition has been preparing the “historic reform” since taking power in 2014.
In Sweden, the prosecution must present evidence to the court proving beyond reasonable doubt that the accused has committed the crime. Following the changes of the law, the prosecution will have to present evidence demonstrating that the sexual act was not consensual.
Addressing victims, he said: “Society is standing by your side.”
If the bill is approved, it would go into effect on July 1.
The proposal is part of a series of initiatives being put forward. Others would make it illegal for Swedes to hire prostitutes abroad, and increase sentences for offenders. Buying sex in Sweden is already illegal.
Critics say the proposal wouldn’t result in more convictions.