Grooming – cultivating a relationship with a minor with the objective of sexually assaulting them – should be a criminal offence punishable by a prison sentence of up to two years, the government proposes.
The government on Wednesday tabled a bill that will make grooming a crime under Danish law, the Ministry of Justice said in a statement.
A bilateral majority in parliament supports the legislation, according to the ministry.
“By criminalising grooming we are sending an important signal to our children and young people that it is never their fault when they are the victim of a sexual assault,” Justice Minister Peter Hummelgaard said in the statement.
“We must crack down on these digital child predators who move in the virtual communities which our children and youths are part of,” he said.
The bill also proposes stricter rules against extorting someone for sex and tougher punishments for tricking somebody into sex.
The General Secretary of charity Save The Children Denmark, Johanne Schmidt-Nielsen, said the bill “updates the criminal law for digital reality”.
The charity has “fought for years” for the various elements of the bill, Schmidt-Nielsen said in an Instagram post.
The tabling of the bill in parliament means today is a “fantastic day for all children”, she also wrote, noting that it means “far more attackers can be convicted with the new law”.