IG news Update,
MADRID (AP) – Spain’s government committed Tuesday to amend a new sexual consent law aimed at increasing women’s safety while inadvertently allowing hundreds of sex offenders to significantly reduce their prison sentences. Is.
The law, known as “yes only means yes”, makes verbal consent or lack thereof a key component in cases of alleged sexual assault. But it also revised the minimum and maximum prison terms for sex assault convictions, a move that has opened the door for judges to cut sentences for rapists and misdemeanors by months or even years on appeal.
For the first time since the controversial law came into force nearly four months ago, the coalition government’s cabinet spokeswoman, Territories Minister Isabel Rodriguez, acknowledged these were unwanted effects that needed to be adjusted.
“It is clear there is concern, there is a social alarm,” he told the weekly cabinet briefing. “We need to be aware of the feelings of victims … and therefore, we understand that the best way to defend the ‘only yes is’ law today is to make the necessary technical adjustments.”
Since the law came into force, the sentences of more than 300 convicted sex offenders have been reduced and at least 30 who were nearing the end of their sentences have been released from prison.
It has sparked outrage among women’s groups and the general public, pressuring Spain’s leftist government – which plays up its feminist credentials and whose cabinet has a majority of female ministers – to act.
The law was voted on by 205 out of 350 parliamentarians in August after a nearly two-year-long drafting process.
Spain’s minister of the presidency, Félix Bolaños, said on Tuesday, “I am convinced that … none of those who participated in the drafting process wanted unwanted influence … social concern shared by the government.” has arisen.”
However, the change in law could spark tensions during an election year between Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez’s ruling Socialists and his junior ally, the anti-austerity “United We Can” party.
Equality Minister Irene Monteiro of United We Can supported the sexual consent law and accused judges of misinterpreting it because of what she believes to be endemic sexism in the courts. Politicians from different parties as well as Spain’s judiciary have responded that the law was poorly drafted.
Cabinet spokesman Rodríguez mentioned technical adjustments but declined to provide more details on how the interests of the two political parties would be reconciled.
Wilson reported from Barcelona.
join the conversation