German MPs pass 'no means no' rape law

German MPs pass 'no means no' rape law

Update 5.30pm: Germany's parliament has passed a new law defining rape, clarifying that "No means No", even if a victim did not fight back.

The vote was passed by a huge majority in the Bundestag, where MPs stood and cheered the result.

The new law classifies groping as a sex crime and makes it easier to prosecute assaults committed by a large group.

The subject came to the fore after a number of sex attacks on women in Cologne on New Year's Eve.

Earlier German MPs are debating a bill that would make it easier for victims of sex crimes to file criminal complaints.

The law currently requires victims to show they physically resisted attackers before charges for rape and other sexual assaults can be brought.

The government has proposed changing the law so that attackers can be convicted if they surprise their victims or exploit the fact that victims fear greater violence if they resist.

Justice minister Heiko Maas says only 8% of rape trials result in convictions in Germany and studies show only one in 10 rapes is reported.

Conservative MPs have resisted for years the "no means no" principle until a string of attacks in Cologne on New Year's Eve sparked a wide debate about sexual violence in Germany.


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