Apr 10, 2024

Czech Lawmakers Approve Tougher Rape Law

The Czech parliament on Wednesday voted to toughen legislation on rape, with stricter definitions that classify all sexual abuse of children under 12 as rape or assault.

The amendment, which has to be passed by the Senate and signed by the president to take effect, was approved by lawmakers across the chamber.

Following the “no means no” principle, the bill changes the definition of rape from forced intercourse to intercourse without consent.

It says disapproval can be expressed by a gesture or crying, and also protects victims unable to protest because of an illness, inebriation, sleep, or bondage.

The bill also introduces the crime of sexual assault for acts that do not involve intercourse.

In defending the new rules, lawmakers noted that 16 European countries had also recently changed the legal definition of rape.

Some use the “yes means yes” concept, which insists on a declaration of consent, while others employ “no means no” like the Czech Republic.

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Other European countries including France, Italy, and Poland use the traditional definition of rape based on violence or threat.


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