By Alex Glenn • 07 July 2021 • 7:52
‘Only yes means yes’ - Spain's government approves tougher laws on sexual consent Credit: Pixabay
Spain’s government approves tougher laws on sexual consent with the new bill known as – ‘Only yes means yes’.
The government in Spain hope to crack down on sexual harassment and sexual violence with this new legislation. The “Only yes means yes” proposed law includes laying out the offences related to sexual consent and it is hoped that the sexual culture of Spain will change with the proposed law.
“Consent is recognised only when a person has freely demonstrated it through actions which, in the context of the circumstances of the case, clearly express the person’s will,” says the new bill.
The bill will go to Parliament to be voted on after it was approved by Spain’s cabinet on Tuesday. It will probably take several months before it appears in Parliament though.
Maria Jesus Montero, spokesperson for the government considers the proposed law to be “a decisive step forward” to protect women. She also believes that it will “makes us, without doubt, better as a society”.
“We have to transform our sexual culture, placing women’s consent at the centre of how we see things,” said Montero.
With current laws in Spain victims sadly need to prove how during an attack they were the victim of violence or prove how they fought against their attacker. For many this new bill cannot come soon enough.
Public outcry was seen in Spain after a court decision in 2018 sentenced several men to only nine years in prison for the 2016 alleged gang rape at the Pamplona bulls festival. The men were initially sentenced to the lesser crime of sexual abuse rather than rape.
Protesters fought back after the sentencing. “It’s not abuse, it’s rape!” said the protesters. The decision was later overturned by Spain’s Supreme Court and the men’s sentences were increased to 15 years.
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Originally from the UK, Alex is based in Almeria and is a web reporter for The Euro Weekly News covering international and Spanish national news.
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