Denmark to get tough on rapists and abusers

The justice minister has proposed the first change to the nation’s rape laws in over a decade, which will increase prison sentences by one year.

Denmark to get tough on rapists and abusers
Photo: Rafael Ben-Ari/Scanpix
Justice Minister Søren Pind on Friday introduced plans to increase the legal punishment handed down to rapists. 
A proposal from Pind calls for prison sentences for rape to be increased by one full year. Current law only allows for a rapist to be sentence to two and a half years in prison, although the penalty can increase for particularly violent rapes. 
“Rape is an incredibly offensive assault and therefore it is important that we as a society punish perpetrators in a way that clearly places the responsibility where it belongs and reflects the seriousness of the violation. That is something we don’t do sufficiently today,” Pind said. 
The minister’s proposal will also add an additional one year prison sentence for sexual assault on minors, increasing the penalty to 3.5 years.
The penalty for false accusations of rape will also increase under the justice minister’s plan, from 20 to 30 days imprisonment. 
Pind said he expects broad support for his proposal, which marks the first time that rape sentences have been increased in 13 years. 
The proposal comes after a campaign highlighting that just one out of every 60 rapes in Denmark ends in a conviction of the assailant.