Friday, 21 April 2023
Spain's MPs approved adjustments to the government's flagship 'only yes means yes' law on Thursday this week.
The law, first voted on last year to toughen up the definition of sexual violence offences, has been mired in controversy ever since. Its original approved wording on guidelines for judges inadvertently allowed some 1,000 existing offenders to have their sentences reduced or cancelled.
The revised law aims to iron out what ministers described as "technicalities" in the first law and correct the overly wide recommended sentence ranges.
However, the PSOE party, the largest in the ruling coalition, has had to rely on the votes of the opposition PP to get the changes through, The PSOE's governing partners, Unidas Podemos (UP), who were the driving force behind the law, have refused to back the adjustments.
UP say the changes erode the core vision of their law, which is that sex is only legal if explicit consent is given. The difference of opinion has put the coalition under increased strain.
The main change this time is to introduce an extra concept of aggravated sexual assault to distinguish more serious offences for sentencing. UP say this puts back the emphasis on a victim to provide proof of the offence.
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