Spain’s Historic Sexual Consent Law, Explained

As Spain puts it, “only yes means yes”, consent cannot be considered to have been given by default, silence or omission under the law

In a landmark decision, the Spanish Parliament passed a law that allows victims of sexual violence to sue their attackers for lack of consent.

The guarantee It’s sexual freedom or “only yes means yes” was adopted by 205 votes for, 141 against and 3 abstentions. The Guardian.

Penal code reform in Spain Rape is now defined as “sex without clear consent”, AFP reported.

Spanish Ministry of EqualityThe law on consent has been passed.

Let’s talk in detail about the law “only yes means yes” and the cases of gang rape that led to the need for Spanish legislation:

What is the law of “only yes means yes”?

Consent It is now impossible to assume that consent has been granted by default, silence or omission. Spain.

“Only yes means yes” The law makes it impossible to distinguish between aggression and abuse.

Now, victims will no longer have to prove that they were subjected to violence or intimidation or that their actions were resistant for the incident to qualify as a sexual assault.

“Consent can only be considered consent when it has been freely manifested by acts which, depending on the circumstances, clearly express the will of the person. The Guardian The law was cited as follows:

The law also includes harassment in public places where a person is subjected to unwanted sexual violence. “expressions, behaviors or propositions of a sexual or sexist nature”, BBC reported.

Anyone The new legislation also imposes a fine on anyone who shares intimate images or videos of someone without their consent.

Additionally, advertising promoting gender stereotypes or prostitution was banned. This is what the law requires. “discourage the demand for all kinds of services related to sexual exploitation, prostitution and pornography that normalizes sexual violence”.

Following recent incidents of minor sexual assaults, the law now requires young offenders to participate in sexual behavior and equality education programs.

“Spain is a safer country for all women”

Calling it a ‘victory day’, Equalities Minister Irene Montero’s law was created by much of the work of. Spain.

Spain’s equality minister says the country is safer for women. AFP

“We will trade violence for freedom and we will trade fear for desire. From today, Spain is a freer and safer country for all women,” said Montero.

“No woman will ever have to prove that there was violence or intimidation for it to be considered a sexual assault,” she added.

Marisa SoletoThe manager of Mujeres FoundationTell me. AFP It’s the law. “Long-awaited” claim of the feminist movement. “We hope it will lead to a change in behavior” Both inside and outside Spain She said it goes beyond that.

The ‘only yes means yes’ law was passed amid an increase in sexual violence cases. Spain.

The highest official number of rapes reported by any country was 2,143 in 2021.

Unhappy Opposition

The law enacted by the left-wing coalition government Pedro Sánchez faced opposition from the far-right Vox conservative and the People’s Party (PP) party that deemed it unenforceable.

Vox MP Carla Toscano Men often cannot prove consent in most cases.

“When you force the system to believe a woman without proof, it creates a very dangerous weapon that any woman can use to get revenge or destroy an innocent person’s life with lies,” Toscano said. BBC.

What follows was motivated by the law of “only yes means yes”?

The Notable Manada Or “pack of wolves” Case that caused a stir in Spain This led to the creation and application of the consent law.

In 2016, five men raped an 18-year-old girl. Pamplona The famous Running The Bulls festival. The men were found guilty of a lesser charge of sexual abuse and sentenced to nine years in prison

The court declined to convict them of rape, saying there was no violence or intimidation.

The assault was filmed by two men, which showed the woman to be silent and passive – which was presumed by the judges to be consent.

Consent emerged as the main issue in the case as the defendants’ legal team argued that the victim did not say ‘no’. She said it was because she was a woman. “paralyzed with fear”, according to BBC.

Following the verdict: Spain Many protesters marched through the streets after witnessing a massive backlash via social media.

The Supreme Court verdict was overturned in 2019 and all five defendants were charged with rape. They received sentences of nine to 15 years.

After his election in June 2018, Socialist Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez, who identifies as a feminist, promised to pass a consent law to remove ambiguity in rape cases.

According to Amnesty International, in addition to Spain7, other European countries since 2018 have adopted consent-based rape laws: Denmark, Croatia, Greece, Malta, Sweden, Iceland and Slovenia.

With contributions from the Agency

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