Czech government to propose new legal definition of rape

The current definition does not explicitly include the absence of consent. Staff ČTK

Written by StaffČTK Published on 19.04.2023 11:00:00 (updated on 19.04.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Czechia’s Ministry of Justice will prepare a new draft legal definition of rape and present it to Czechia’s Chamber of Deputies, Minister of Justice Pavel Blažek announced Tuesday.

Heeding calls for change?

This announcement comes after several protests in recent months from women’s-rights organizations that have asked the government to change the legal definition of rape to explicitly include the absence of consent rather than just physical violence.

The new draft will have two versions: one that is based on the absence of consent, and the other on the expression of the victim’s disapproval. 

"The majority of representatives of political parties and movements agreed that the definition of rape should be changed, so that it covers all acts and better protects victims of sexual crimes"

Chairwoman of the Parliamentary Subcommittee for Domestic and Sexual Violence, Taťána Malá

Parliament will be able to see the new proposed definitions some time in June. 

A serious societal problem

An estimated 12,000 rapes are committed in the Czech Republic annually.

About one in five women in Czechia experience physical and sexual violence from a current or former partner in their lifetimes.

According to this year's NMS Market Research survey for the Konsent organization, seven out of 10 Czech women over the age of 15 think that sex without clear consent should be a crime.

An ever-present problem

  • There are about 34 cases of rape every day in Czechia.
  • Fifty-two percent of people think sexual violence is common in society.
  • An estimated 5 percent of rapes are thought to be reported.
  • Two out of five adults have been victims of sexual harassment or violence.
  • One-quarter of people believe a rape victim is partly responsible if they were wearing "provocative clothing."

    Sources: Amnesty International,

Czechia’s Konsent organization held a protest in February outside the Czech Chamber of Deputies to call for a change in the definition of rape.

The Chce to souhlas (Consent is needed) campaign, co-ordinated by Amnesty International Czech Republic, also wants to draw awareness to the fact that threats of violence are not always present when a rape is committed.

expat help

Rape Crisis Network Europe is an English-speaking charity service based in the Czech Republic to help those who have been sexually abused or raped. ProFem is another Prague-based, English-friendly charity that aids victims of domestic and sexual violence.

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