Global Violence Against Women Womens Rights

Draft of Spain’s New Sex Crimes Bill Makes Consent Key

On Tuesday March 3, the Spanish government approved a new draft bill, the “Only Yes is Yes” bill, that focuses on sex crimes and makes consent a key factor in determining if a crime was committed, rather than putting pressure on victims to prove the use of violence or intimidation.

According to a release from the Associated Press, the bill “comes in the wake of the furor raised in Spain over a gang-rape case during the San Fermin bull-running festival in Pamplona in 2016.” The five individuals accused “were found guilty of sexual abuse, but not rape, as the victim wasn’t deemed to have objected to what was happening.” Irene Montero, Equality Minister, said that the Sexual Liberties Law will show that there must be “explicit expression of consent” if sex acts are not to be considered crimes.

The bill needs to “be debated and approved by parliament and will take several months before becoming law;” however, as a member of the United We Can leftist party, Montero notes the bills’ importance when she says that it was “driven by Spain’s feminist movement and will make Spain an international reference and “a safer country for women.”’ If the bill is passed, it will provide victim with 24-hour help centers “staffed by specially trained personnel,” “envisage special courts for such crimes,” and “make people more aware of the need to eradicate sexual violence.

Source: Associated Press News 3/3, Forbes 3/2020

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