Free will only

Every human being has the right to decide over their body and their sexuality. Therefore, Sweden has a sexual offence law based on the idea of free will. Sex must be an act of free will - otherwise it is a crime.

Sex as an act of free will means that the persons involved have expressed clear consent to a sexual act using words or body language. That’s why it is important to listen, ask, check and show respect. You must be sure about what others really want.

Violence or threats are therefore not necessary in order for a person to be convicted of, for example, rape. It is also not necessary that someone took advantage of another person’s particularly vulnerable situation, for example if that other person was drunk. If sex is not an act of free will, it is a crime.

The sexual offence law in 20 seconds

Speech script

The actor Ellen Bergström says:

Sex is always on act of free will, otherwise it's a crime. So listen, check and make sure what others really want. Because I decide over my body just like you decide over yours.

All sexual acts must be an act of free will

Remember that everyone always has the right to change their mind. It doesn’t matter what happened previously or who took the initiative. It is a criminal offence to proceed with a sexual act with a person who no longer wants to participate. Consenting to a certain type of sexual act does not mean that the consent applies for other sexual acts.

Read more about the new legislation on our webpage.

Contact us

If you have any questions about this website, please contact the Swedish Crime Victim Compensation and Support Authority via

You can also visit our website at Here you will find information in several languages ​​about the rights of all crime victims. You can also read more about how to file a police report and how a trial is run in Sweden.

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