Germany’s Bundestag, their lower house of parliament, is taking action to change the existing law which defines rape.
Currently, under section 177 of Germany’s criminal code, victims should have defended themselves for an act to be defined as rape – saying no is not sufficient to find a defendant guilty. Law applicants will be aware that this definition of consent is not true of other mainland European countries, and marks Germany out as being behind other nations in their position on this law.
New regulations will mean that both physical and verbal cues will be taken into account in hearing for rape cases, allowing the verbal declaration of ‘no’ as sufficient evidence of assault when ignored. HSPS applicants should consider both the under-reporting and low conviction rates for rape cases, and how this relates to societal ideas of consent and culpability.