Tuesday, December 6

These are the keys to the ‘only yes is yes’ law that comes into force today

Demonstration before the Congress of Deputies in April 2018 for the release of the five members of ‘La manada’, convicted of the group sexual assault of a young woman in Pamplona. / Reuters

The rule converts any act against sexual freedom without clear consent into assault or rape

Alfonso Torres

The law of sexual freedom, better known as the ‘only yes is yes’, has entered into force today. The norm that will turn any sexual act without the clear consent of the victim into assault or rape. It will no longer be necessary for violence or intimidation to convict for both criminal categories.

‘Only if it is yes’ will be the only valid criterion that judges and police will take into account to determine whether or not there has been a case of sexual violence, to order the immediate protection of the victim and punish the crime.


All penetration is violation

There are only two crimes against sexual freedom. Sexual assault (touching and all kinds of assaults against this freedom) and rape, assault with penetration.


All aggression has jail

With the disappearance of the abuses, the fines also evaporate. All aggression is paid at least one year in jail.

Sexual assault carries penalties of 1 to 4 years in prison and rape from 4 to 10. From there, there is a catalog of aggravating circumstances that increase the penalty by one degree (if one is appreciated) or by two (two or more ). An aggravated sexual assault can reach 6 years in prison and 7 with double aggravation. In the violations, the aggravated one would move between 7 to 12 years and the very aggravated one, between 9 and 15.


Forcing the partner, an aggravating circumstance

Some of the aggravating factors already existed, such as group aggression, the use of weapons or extreme violence. Others are new, such as the aggressor being a partner or ex-partner. Assaulting an ex-partner means a minimum of two more years in prison and raping her, at least three.


More penalty for chemical submission

Another aggravating circumstance punishes chemical submission (getting drunk or drugging the victim). It would add by itself to the penalty between 2 and 3 years in prison. Assault with submission would be paid with a minimum of 6 years in prison and, if there is rape, with no less than 7 to 12 years.

It is a new crime. Hostile, humiliating or intimidating sexual behavior or propositions are punished with location, fine or community service. It requires a complaint and does not include compliments that deserve such a name.


Forced sexual reeducation

All adolescents convicted of crimes against sexual freedom will have, regardless of the sentence, the obligation to undergo training programs on sexuality and equality.


Avoid revictimization

Procedural measures are developed to accompany the victims, including the possibility of avoiding eye contact with the alleged aggressor or making a statement in special rooms.


Vicarious Violence Compensation

Any mother whose partner or ex-partner kills one of her children has the status of direct victim of a violent crime, which entitles her to receive state aid in the event of non-payment of compensation by the perpetrator of the crime.


bad parents without guardianship

Those who sexually assault or corrupt a minor and those who instigate prostitution will be deprived of custody of their children, guardianship or foster care for a period of four to ten years. Visits to those accused of gender-based violence should also be suspended.


Protection of the vulnerable

A specific crime is created to punish the request for sexual favors by officials who work in prisons and centers for minors or immigrants.


Make the shopkeepers jointly responsible

Government, autonomies and local institutions must launch regular awareness campaigns to reveal the cruelty and harassment behind prostitution, with the aim of discouraging potential consumers. They want the shopkeepers to internalize that prostitution and sexual exploitation are synonymous and that they are “co-responsible” for this scourge.


GPS control against the violent

Criminal laws will include that telematic bracelets, GPS devices that give away when an aggressor approaches his victim, can be used to guarantee compliance with protection and restraining orders in any case. Not only with gender violence but also in the investigations of the rest of sexist violence, such as sexual violence, harassment, trafficking, forced marriage or genital mutilation.


Legal protection of the victims

The law explicitly prohibits the publication or dissemination of data or images that allow the identification of any victim of sexist violence. It is complemented by the order to the Data Protection Agency to create an agile, simple and secure channel to report these situations. Similarly, it makes a change in the Criminal Code to sanction with a fine whoever continues the chain of dissemination of images, normally intimate, that harm the privacy rights of a third party who has never authorized their public dissemination.

It includes a whole series of improvements to the 2004 law against gender violence. It declares all the mechanisms of attention, assistance and help to the victims of any sexist violence, including GPS bracelets, as “essential” services. They must be guaranteed in alarm states and exceptional situations. It is essential that all territories have 24-hour crisis centers and commits “sufficient” funding from the State to guarantee it.


specialized courts

The Government has one year to send to Congress reforms of the law of the judiciary and of the fiscal statute to extend the competence of the courts of violence against women to the investigation of all sexist violence and to specialize the judges and prosecutors who They will take care of this job. They also require each judicial area to have its forensic assessment team against sexist violence (including guards), to work to solve all the evidence in a single exam and to dictate specific protocols to prevent vicarious violence.


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