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Spain to introduce law that would define non-consensual sex as rape

EPA-EFE/Atienza
People hold banners reading 'It is not a sexual abuse. It is a rape' as some women take part in a rally to express their condemnation of macho violence at Plaza de Cort square, in Palma de Mallorca, Majorca island, eastern Span, 08 July 2019.

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A bill that would define all non-consensual sex as rape was approved by the Spanish government. The country’s parliament now has to examine the draft before moving on with its enactment, a procedure expected to last at least six months. 
If turned into law, 24-hour recovery centers for victims would be established, as well as special courts that would specifically deal with sexual offences. At the same time, penalties for sexual harassment in the workspace would increase to up to two years, while street harassment would be classified as a criminal offence. Aggravating factors, such as the use of violence or drugs to incapacitate the victim, would carry heavier sentences.
Under Spain’s current legislation, for an offence to be classified as rape, the victim has to prove through evidence that it has suffered violence by the alleged perpetrator. 
The new draft law came amid repeated calls for reforming the criminal law concerning sexual offences, which resulted from several high-profile trials, including the 2016 so-called “wolf pack” trial, in which five men that raped a young woman at the Pamplona bull-running festival were jailed for sexual abuse instead of rape.
Monica Costa Riba, Amnesty International’s Senior Campaigner on Gender, welcomed the step taken by the Spanish government, saying that ‘‘This is a victory for survivors of rape and for the countless women, campaigners and activists who raised so much awareness of the need for reforms in law, policy and practice through their protests and street actions.’’
‘‘Spain will be a safer country for women with the approval of this law,’’ said the country’s Equality Minister Irene Montero, adding that ‘‘women’s rights and sexual freedoms will never again be stranded down a blind alley.’’
The adoption of the new bill would make Spain the tenth European country to define non-consensual sex as rape. 

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