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Opinion | Sweden Law Redefines Rape as Consensuality Without EXPLICIT Affirmation

             7/8/2018

Feminists

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 

A new law in Sweden has just been implemented to crack down on the rising number of reported sex offenses since 2007. Originally passed in May, the new legislation flew effortlessly through Parliament by an overwhelming margin (257-38), but raises questions for those who take due process seriously. The law states that prosecutors of rape criminals will no longer have to prove that the victim was in a vulnerable situation, or that there was any threat of violence to prove the guilt of an alleged rapist. Despite drastically lowering the prerequisites for a violent crime, the Government insisted that the new law was “based on the obvious”. “Sex must be voluntary”, and "If a person wants to engage in sexual activities with someone who remains inactive or gives ambiguous signals, he or she will therefore have to find out if the other person is willing." Although this seems like common sense, it does not seem to fit within the legal parameters of provable, forceful rape. In fact, this law defies common sense, inasmuch as it will make it impossible to defend against a rape accusation. And yet, Sweden is already the tenth European nation to define “rape” as “non consensual” sex.

It should be too obvious for me to explain that all sexual encounters should be unmistakably consensual, and that both parties must approve of amorous activity. However, the United States has seen the effects of Title IX laws on college campuses, resulting in injustice. Although well-intentioned, Title IX essentially allows women in college to accuse men of rape without having to prove it. These innovative precedents have caused a backlash in several Universities. The LA Times reports, “since 2011, when the Department of Education reinterpreted Title IX to require that sexual assault cases be judged by a ‘preponderance of the evidence’ — a lower burden of proof than is used in criminal cases — more than 100 accused students have sued their schools. In most of these recent cases, the colleges have lost, as they should have.” Along with lowering the burden of proof, Title IX investigations can easily begin for having had “regretful” sex, which should obviously never be considered rape. Not only does this open the door for the possibility of false accusation, but it is also morally repugnant to define rape as anything other than “sexual intercourse carried out forcibly or under threat of injury against the will usually of a female or with a person who is beneath a certain age or incapable of valid consent.” To lower the standard of rape is to cheapen evil.

One factor that is not receiving any attention, is the Swedish migration policy, and the fallout from the governmental avoidance of racial profiling. In Sweden, it is Illegal to report on the physical description of criminal perpetrators, despite alarming statistics regarding who the biggest offenders actually are. A report published on October 23, 2017 (“Sexual crime among men born in Sweden and abroad” by Joakim P Jonasson) shows that although migrants make up roughly 24 percent of the Swedish population, they account for over 90 percent of rapes and gang rapes.

Yet instead of addressing the problem with relevant information, it seems the Swedish Parliament would rather change the definition of crimes and their legal burden of proof to combat rape. First world countries must realize that a solution to sexual violence is not the persistent dilution of the prerequisites needed to constitute rape or sexual assault, but rather an honest assessment of the facts and reality that oversee the issues of society.

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