Switzerland’s lower house of parliament voted Monday to dramatically broaden the country’s limited definition of rape to include all sex without consent, but a law-change is still a long way off.
There is broad agreement in Switzerland that its current rape law needs adjustments.
Under today’s law, only forcible vaginal penetration, with a certain level of resistance by the woman, is considered rape.
It is widely agreed that the definition of rape should be broadened to include all non-consensual penetration, regardless of the sex of the victim, and regardless of whether they fought back.
But there has been heated debate in Switzerland on how to measure consent, with some arguing for a “no means no” approach, in which if a person clearly resists it would be considered rape.
Parliament’s upper house, the Council of States, voted for this approach earlier this year – but when the lower National Council voted on Monday, it opted for a more radical change, requiring explicit consent for sex acts. was needed.
The “only yes means yes” option passed narrowly, with 99 votes in favor, 88 votes against, and three abstentions.
Got emotional during Monday’s debate.
According to the ATS, Socialist MP Tamara Funicello told the House, “Obviously you don’t take money out of your neighbor’s wallet without asking. Obviously you don’t go into someone’s house without ringing the doorbell.” News agency.
“Why should my wallet and my home be better protected than my body?” He asked.
Greens MP Raphael Mahim agreed, stressing that “another person’s body is never an open bar.”
But many right-wing members of parliament opposed that option, saying it would lead to confusion and be difficult to put into practice.
Amnesty International praised the vote as “a major breakthrough after years of activist activism for the rights of women who are victims of sexual abuse”.
But the two chambers will now need to reach agreement before the process can move forward.
And once that happens, the matter is likely to go to a popular vote under Switzerland’s direct democratic system.
Several other European countries, including Spain, Sweden, Denmark and Belgium, are moving towards defining rape as sexual acts without explicit consent.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)
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