'Only yes is yes': Spain's Cabinet passes bill to redefine 'consent' in rape law

WION Web Team
Madrid, Spain Published: Jul 06, 2021, 10:36 PM(IST)

File photo. Photograph:( Zee News Network )

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As per the new law, rape will be defined as a forced sexual activity performed without the consent of the victim. It will also bring in violence and intimidation during sexual assault

Putting an end to the fight for consent, Spain's cabinet has approved a draft bill that lays down strict rules against rape under false pretence and fake consent.

The new law states that only a direct 'yes' can be justified as consent for sexual intercourse. The absence of consent and a 'no' will not be ruled as 'justifications' in rape cases.

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It "makes clear that silence or passivity do not mean consent, or that not showing opposition can not be an excuse to act against the will of the other person," explained government spokeswoman Maria Jesus Montero.

This bill has been introduced after the tragic gang-rape case of an 18-year-old woman. The victim was raped by five men at a bull-running festival in northern Spain who called themselves the "wolf pack".

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These penetrators were initially only charged with sexual abuse, rather than sexual assault as the judge believed there was no use of physical violence. It was also suggested that considering the victim had stayed silent, it was a form of consent.

Contesting this thought process and highlighting loopholes in the criminal code, this new bill "only yes is yes" has been introduced.

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As per this new law, rape will be defined as a forced sexual activity performed without the consent of the victim. It will also bring in violence and intimidation during sexual assault.

Under this law, work-related sexual harassment cases can also lead to jail time. Additionally, catcalling will be labelled as a criminal offence.

The law will now be open to a debate and vote in September.

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