A new legal definition of what constitutes rape is about to take effect in Germany.
The law has been modernised to include the principle of "no means no".
Previously the legal definition of rape only applied if the victim tried to physically fight off their attacker.
Germany Minister of Family Affairs Manuela Schwesig said the change represented a paradigm shift.
"The passing of this bill today in the Bundestag is a huge step forward," she said in German.
"If proven guilty, all rapists in Germany will be punished.
"That wasn't the case previously. Now, victims will be encouraged to file charges, they'll be taken seriously."
The inadequacy of the law meant many perpetrators got away with rape, according to a 2014 study of 107 cases by the German association of women's counselling centres and rape crisis centres.
The authors said that in every case, sexual assaults had been committed against the victim's unambiguous will, which had been communicated verbally to the perpetrator. However, they said, either charges were not filed or there was no court conviction.
The study went on to note that the law placed too much focus on whether the victim resisted and did not reflect real-life scenarios in which people were raped.
Only one in 10 rapes is reported in Germany currently, according to Germany's n-tv news website. And of those, the conviction rate is only 10 percent.
"In the past there were cases where women were raped but the perpetrators couldn't be punished,'' Ms Schwesig said.
"The change in the law will help increase the number of victims who choose to press charges, lower the number of criminal prosecutions that are shelved and ensure sexual assaults are properly punished."
More than 100 women and girls reported sexual assault and robbery by gangs of men in Cologne on New Year's Eve, prompting a campaign for reform under the hashtag "NeinHeisstNein" (No means No).
And, in a case that has sparked an outcry in Germany, two men were acquitted of drugging and raping German model Gina-Lisa Lohfink - despite having uploaded a video of what took place, in which she was reportedly heard saying, "Stop it, stop it" and "No".
Not only were the men cleared of wrongdoing, but Ms Lohfink was fined €24,000 for falsely testifying.
She has appealed against the the charges. The case has been compared to the Stanford University sexual assault furore in the United States.
Campaigners said the new law was a good start, but expressed concern that it would not give adequate protection to victims who cannot clearly convey their lack of consent.
Activist Kristina Lunz said it was unacceptable that the vast majority of rapes were still going unpunished in Germany.
"Of course it should be 'Yes means Yes'," Ms Lunz said, referring to a 2015 law passed in California that makes the legal standard for sex affirmative verbal consent.