Germany lawmakers to debate 'no means no' rape law

BERLIN: German lawmakers are debating a bill that would make it easier for victims of sex crimes to file criminal complaints.

The law now requires victims to show they physically resisted attackers before charges for rape and other sexual assaults can be brought.

The government has proposed changing the law so that attackers can be convicted if they surprise their victims or exploit the fact that victims fear greater violence if they resist.

Justice Minister Heiko Maas says only 8 percent of rape trials result in convictions in Germany and studies show only one in 10 rapes is reported.

Conservative lawmakers for years resisted the "no means no" principle until a string of attacks in Cologne on New Year's Eve sparked a wide debate about sexual violence in Germany.