The Spanish government promises a new rape law that makes sex punishable without explicit and mutual consent. Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez finally gives in to the growing displeasure among the Spaniards.
In recent months, thousands of Spaniards came to the streets to complain that a Spanish judge found five men not guilty of rape. The five men filmed how they sexually assaulted an eighteen-year-old woman in 2016 during the bullfighting festival in Pamplona.
Partly because the victim remained silent during the facts, they were only sentenced to nine years in prison for sexual abuse.
“If she says” no, “it is no. And if she does not say “yes”, it is also no. “With these words, Sanchez announced the change of law in the Spanish parliament. With the tightening, the prime minister wants to remove all possible doubts about rape cases.
Patricia Faraldo Cabana, the law professor at the University of A Coruña and co-author of the legislative proposal, says that the (non-) consent must not only be verbal but can also be derived from body language.
‘If a person is naked, actively participates and shows signs of pleasure, there is consent. But if someone cries, is lying like a dead inflatable doll or shows absolutely no signs of pleasure, there is no consent. “
When the change comes, Spain joins a select group of countries, including Great Britain and Canada, where sex is considered a criminal offence without explicit consent, without a victim having to prove threats or violence. A similar law has also been in force in Sweden since the beginning of July.