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Denmark Launches Sexual Consent App After New Rape Law Passes

by : Saman Javed on : 05 Feb 2021 16:02
Denmark Launches Sexual Consent App After New Rape Law PassesiConsent/Shutterstock

A new app has launched in Denmark which gives users the ability to give sexual ‘consent’ through the press of a button.

The app, named iConsent, allows users to give permission for ‘one intercourse’ which is valid for 24 hours.

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It comes after Denmark’s government passed a new law in December 2020 which expands the definition of rape to include any sex without explicit consent.

‘Now it will be clear, that if both parties do not consent to sex, then it’s rape,’ Nick Haekkerup, Denmark’s Minister of Justice said at the time.

The app has received widespread backlash, with critics arguing that it undermines the complexity of consent.

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According to the app’s developers, it gives people the ‘opportunity to document your consent to intercourse’. They cautioned that ‘consent in the app can never stand alone, and that it is up to you and the other party to secure your consent before, during and after intercourse’.

Additionally, it allows users to bring up records of their consent history, which is stored on ‘secure servers’ and only shared with authorities in the event of a criminal investigation.

The national head of Denmark’s Sex and Society,  Lene Stavngaard, told The Sun: ‘The app is definitely not the solution to getting consent.’

‘A sexual relationship is not about a contract, so it shoots completely wrong in relation to the needs that are out there,’ Stavngaard said.

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She added:

It is very clear that the app was developed by someone who has neither a professional approach to gender, body or sexuality, but also has not listened to what was discussed in the consent debate, because we come back a bit to step one with – is consent a contract or not?

I actually think it’s a bit nonsensical.

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The app also offers sexual health advice and links to support groups for victims of sexual assault.

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According to justice ministry figures, approximately 11,400 women are raped or subjected to attempted rape in the country annually.

Carsten Nielsen, a co-developer of iConsent said he believes the app is ahead of its time.

‘In isolation it is also strange that we have to put on a condom. In isolation, it would also be strange if the condom was invented today. But conversely, it is a pretty good idea. So yes – agree. It’s controversial, and maybe it’s weird. But maybe it already feels more normal in a year’s time,’ he told The Sun.

Mikkel Flyverbom, a member of a Danish ethics council and professor, told MailOnline the app reflects a ‘naive faith in technology’.

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He said: ‘People should not get the impression that every complex human interaction can be replaced by pushing buttons.’

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article and wish to speak to someone in confidence, contact the Rape Crisis England and Wales helpline on 0808 802 9999 between 12pm–2.30pm and 7pm– 9.30pm every day. Alternatively, you can contact Victim Support free on 08 08 16 89 111 available 24/7, every day of the year, including Christmas.

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Topics: News, Consent, Denmark, Rape

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The Sun and 1 other