Swedish law says sex without explicit consent is rape

Swedish residents will have to get explicit consent from their sexual partners before contact or it will be considered rape, according to a new law adopted Wednesday.

“It is no longer necessary for the offender to use violence or threats, or to exploit the victim’s particularly vulnerable situation” for a rape charge to be brought forward, the law states.

Swedish lawmakers approved the measure by a vote of 257-38 with 54 absentees. The law will go into effect July 1.

The law stops short of making expressed consent a condition for sexual contact, but states that a person cannot passively agree to sex, according to BBC.

“If a person wants to engage in sexual activities with someone who remains inactive or gives ambiguous signals, he or she will therefore have to find out if the other person is willing,” the law says.

The law also brings two new crimes – negligent rape and negligent sexual abuse. Both carry a four-year prison term.

“The negligence aspect focuses on the fact that one of the parties did not participate voluntarily,” lawmakers said.

Critics have said the new law won’t lead to new convictions.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.