OIK-40 Krista Oinonen ja Linnea Nieminen
Asia: Lausuntopyyntö PC0W4QU7-4
UN Human Rights, Special procedures, Special Raporteur on violence against women, its Causes and
Consequences Dubrovka Simonovic
Call for submissions to the UN SRVAW thematic report on rape as a grave and systematic human rights
violation and gender-based violence against women
RAPE CRISES CENTER TUKINAINEN, FINLAND
STATEMENT November 2020
- Section 1 – Rape (509/2014)
(1) A person who forces another into sexual intercourse by the use or threat of violence directed
against the person shall be sentenced for rape to imprisonment for at least one year and at most
(2) Also a person who, by taking advantage of the fact that another person, due to
unconsciousness, illness, disability, state of fear or other state of helplessness, is . unable to defend
himself or herself or to formulate or express his or her will, has sexual intercourse with him or her,
shall be sentenced for rape.
(3) If the rape, taking into consideration the pettiness of the threat or the other circumstances
connected with the offence, is less serious when considered as a whole than the acts referred to in
subsections 1 or 2, the offender shall be sentenced to imprisonment for at least four months and at
most four years. A person who forces another into sexual intercourse through other than the threat
referred to in subparagraph 1 shall be sentenced in a similar manner. What is provided above in
this subparagraph does not apply if violence has been used in the rape.
(4) An attempt is punishable.
a. No. However penetration is required.
c. No. The current wording of the provision on rape is not consent-based. Yet Courts have
given some consideration to consent in rape cases.
d. Yes. The first paragraph of the article is based on force or the threat thereof.
g. Yes. In terms of penetration it covers vaginal, anal and oral penetration and perpetrated
with genitalia as well as other objects.
h. No. Marital rape is not explicitly mentioned in the wording of the article. However, it is
discussed in length and included in the governmental proposal (HE 365/1992) on which the
article is partly based on.
i. See answer in part “2(h)”
j. See answer in part “2(h)”
k. No, marital rape is considered as a crime.
- Currently it is 16. However, there is a proposal for new legislation, which contains provisions stating
that consent should also be evaluated in cases where the child is between the ages of 12 and 15.
This would effectively lower the age of consent to 12.
- Yes. The Finnish Criminal Code Chapter 20 section 7 a limits liability in cases where the inviolability
of the person under 16 has not been violated. It also requires that the maturity and physical
development between the parties do not differ significantly.
- A person convicted of rape shall be sentenced for rape to imprisonment for at least one year and at
most six years. A person convicted of aggravated rape shall be sentenced to o imprisonment for at
least two years and at most ten years. (Finnish Criminal Code, Chapter 20 sections 1 and 2)
- The victim of a sexual crime has the right to apply for reparations from the perpetrator for both
physical and mental harm. Upon sentencing the Court will confirm, modify or deny such requests.
- Chapter 6, section 5 of the Finnish Criminal Code includes grounds for increasing the punishment.
These are: (1) the methodical nature of the criminal activity, (2) commission of the offence as part
of the activity of an organised criminal group, (3) commission of the offence for remuneration, (4)
commission of the offence for a motive based on race, skin colour, birth status, national or ethnic
origin, religion or belief, sexual orientation or disability or another corresponding grounds, and (5)
the criminal history of the offender, if the relation between it and the new offence, due to the
similarity between the offences or otherwise, shows that the offender is apparently heedless of the
prohibitions and commands of the law.
b. No. Such a case would more likely be considered as the crime of “sexual abuse” (Chapter
20, section 5)
c. No. However Courts have considered it an aggravating factor in some cases (e.g. KKO
2012:9, KK0 2018:22)
- Yes. Chapter 6, section 6 of the Finnish Criminal Code includes grounds for reducing the
punishment. These are (1) significant pressure, threat or a similar influence that has affected the
commission of the offence, (2) strong empathy or an exceptional and sudden temptation that has
led to the offence, the exceptionally great contribution of the injured party or a corresponding
circumstance that has been conducive to decreasing the capability of the offender to conform to
the law, (3) reconciliation between the offender and the injured person, other attempts of the
offender to prevent or remove the effects of the offence or his or her attempt to further the
clearing up of the offence, and (4) the grounds mentioned in section 8(1) and (3).
Additionally, the same Chapter, section 7 includes the grounds mitigating the punishment. These
are: (1) another consequence to the offender of the offence or of the sentence, (2) the advanced
age, poor health or other personal circumstances of the offender, and (3) a considerably long
period that has passed since the commission of the offence, if the punishment that accords with
established practice would for these reason lead to an unreasonable or exceptionally detrimental
- Mediation as a form of reconciliation is allowed in cases of sexual violence against adults. The
police or prosecutor may refer a case to the mediation office with the consent of the parties.
During mediation the parties may discuss the matter and come to an agreement if they so wish. It
should be noted that sexual crimes apart from sexual harassment against adults are all indictable
offences meaning the prosecutor has the authority to indict the perpetrator regardless of what is
agreed upon during mediation.
a. In practice mediation is hardly ever used in cases of sexual violence.
- Only if the perpetrator is under the age of criminal liability which is 15 years.
- The statute of limitations for rape is 10 years from the commission of the crime until the issuance
of an indictment. In the case of aggravated rape, it is 20 years. (Finnish Criminal Code Chapter 20,
sections 1 and 2)
- Yes. Since the beginning of 2006 sexual violence against children reach the statute of limitations at
the earliest when the victims reaches the age of 28.
- No. No mandatory requirement exists; however, the Supreme Court of Finland has deemed in
judgment KKO 2013:96 that the testimony of the victim alone does not suffice.
- There are some practical measures, which allow the victim not to have to encounter the
perpetrator during court hearings. Examples of these are room dividers as to obstruct visibility
between the parties as well as separate waiting rooms for the parties.
- This depends on whether the rape is considered as a war crime or crime against humanity or
alternatively whether the crime only took place during an armed conflict or a widespread or
systematic attack on the civilian population, without the required nexus. A rape, which is
considered as a war crime or crime against humanity does not have a statute of limitations. Rape as
prescribed in Chapter 20 of the Finnish Criminal Code has a statute of limitations of 10 or 20 years.
Helsinki, 26 November 2020
Rape Crises Center Tukinainen
On behalf of Management Team
Jessica James, lawyer
Riitta Silver, lawyer