Spain to Toughen Laws Against Sexual Assault
High-profile rape cases have prompted Spain’s government to toughen the laws against sexual assault. One of the laws proposed and in the drafting stage would classify all non-consensual sex as rape. Current law only considers rape cases to be such if perpetrators used physical violence or intimidation.
Cases that involve drugging or violence against victims will receive harsh sentences and will be heard by judges in courts that solely handle sexual crimes. The laws will also address sexual harassment in the workplace and tackle the prevention of sexual crimes.
A case involving an 18 year-old who was gang raped by five men at the bull running festival last year outraged the country and led to protests after her rapists were cleared of the crime by the Supreme Court and charged with a lesser crime of sexual abuse. There was a public outcry and the men were eventually charged with rape and jailed.
The Realist Woman’s take:
The gang rape of the 18 year-old in Spain last year made international news. It was an insult to women everywhere to learn the rapists were cleared. Even though justice was served in the end, the fact that they were cleared in the first place speaks to a larger problem about toxic male culture in Spain.
The new proposed laws are long overdue and really speak to victim’s rights.