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It's estimated that 1 in 20 women in the European Union has been raped.
That's around nine million.
So how a country defines and punishes this crime matters a lot.
Rape has a huge impact on an individual's life.
Today, I almost feel: 'Yes I have to still sleep with my lights on.'
The problem is Europe's rape laws are all over the place.
We need massive legal changes
and we need a discussion about consent.
Judges have upheld the decision of a lower court
to clear five men of gang-raping an 18-year-old woman.
This case sent shockwaves through Spain.
Then came another.
Five men who had sex with an unconscious 14-year-old were also cleared of rape.
In Spain the law says that for something to count as rape,
there must be violence or intimidation.
So really different from the UK where rape is sex without consent
and if somebody can't consent, so say they're unconscious, then it's still rape.
The world was outraged by the cases in Spain, but Spain is far from alone.
Of all the countries in the EU, plus Norway, Iceland and Switzerland,
only nine treat non-consensual sex as rape,
in the other 22, there has to be some sort of violence or threat.
We all know that you can actually be raped without violence.
A lot of victims become so scared that they freeze.
In my case I was asleep when it happened,
and he didn't hurt me physically, so I didn't have any bruises on me at all.
Despite its reputation for gender equality,
Denmark has some of the weakest rape laws in Europe.
To be guilty of rape here you must have threatened violence.
I think I was like: 'Wait this is not happening to me.'
And it took me a while before I was like: 'OK this is happening to me.'
Emilie woke up at a friend's house to find a man she didn't know having sex with her.
I woke up while it was happening, yeah.
I just froze totally. Then I asked him to stop and pulled my clothes back on
and just went straight out the door.
But because her attacker hadn't used violence, he was cleared of rape.
I was in court, they were questioning me about if I said no, did I push him back?
'Did you do anything to stop him?' I was like: 'Well first of all, I was asleep.
And then when I woke up, I was shocked, I was totally shocked.'
Perpetrators are not punished, victims are not receiving justice.
We are calling all states to change their definitions of rape,
in order to base them on absence of consent and not on use of force.
Convictions in Denmark are astonishingly low.
The government estimates more than 5,000 women a year
are victims of rape or attempted rape,
but in 2018 there were only 77 convictions.
So countries are under pressure to change their laws.
Greece, Iceland and Sweden have changed theirs in the last two years.
Here, sex without consent is now rape.
It used to be the woman who had to prove that she had not given consent
or that she was raped.
And today it's the perpetrator who actually has more or less
to explain how he got a consent.
So what difference has this made?
You have I think at least six or seven cases now in Sweden,
cases that would not have been considered rape before.
We talk a lot more about rape as a criminal act
and it's easier to explain today what rape actually is.
Now Denmark, Spain and Finland are thinking about changing their laws,
but that still leaves 19 countries with no plans to change, which is a problem.
In 2014, a new European treaty came into force, designed to protect women from violence.
It's called the Istanbul Convention,
and it says that countries must have laws that make sex without consent a crime.
And most countries in Europe signed up .
Countries who are not changing their definition in line with the Istanbul Convention
are breaching international law.
In Poland, rape is only rape if there's violence or coercion.
And rape within a marriage isn't a crime.
We still teach our girls how not to get raped,
instead of teaching the boys not to rape in the first place.
Here, rape carries one of the lightest punishments in Europe.
30, 40% of men who commit rape are sentenced to two years,
and from this 30 or 40, 60% have their sentence suspended,
so they don't even go to jail.
I'm from Amnesty International Poland.
Amnesty International are concerned about Poland's laws.
We're doing a campaign about consent.
They've started visiting bars and clubs to teach young people about consent.
So we have some tattoos...
The tattoo says 'tak to miłość'.
It means 'yes is love' in English.
But it could get even harder to talk about consent here.
The government's proposing a new law dubbed 'the paedophile law'.
It makes it a crime to talk to children about sex.
Effectively, it bans sex education.
Lack of education is resulting in stigma attached to victims of rape and violence.
They are not knowing their rights, they are not reporting.
I was called a paedophile several times, I was also called a murderer.
I was threatened on the streets verbally and physically.
For teaching children about sex?
Across Europe women are increasingly angry with their governments
for failing to protect them from sexual violence.
Women in this country are getting a little bit weary
at the routine victim-blaming going on in Irish courts,
and the failure of lawmakers in this house to do anything about it.
If it happens again and we haven't changed the law, I wouldn't report it.
Going to court again and all the questions, it's not worth it, I think.


Are Europe's rape laws letting women down? - BBC News

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林宜悉 發佈於 2020 年 2 月 9 日
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