December 4, 2020

The ‘only yes is yes’ law is extended to child victims of sexual crimes and creates comprehensive centers to prevent them from going to the police station or court

The future Law of Sexual Freedom, known as the ‘only yes is yes’ law, has incorporated childhood into its scope of application and includes measures to protect both girls and boys who are victims of sexual assaults. It is one of the novelties recently incorporated into the text, which has just finished the public consultation phase, which lasted for months and after the allegations of some 60 organizations. The draft was approved last March amid tensions within the Government, which foresees that it will not be ready to return to the Council of Ministers before the end of 2020.

The Government will reform the Penal Code to persecute the owners of clubs that enrich themselves with the exercise of prostitution

The Government will reform the Penal Code to persecute the owners of the clubs that enrich themselves with the exercise of prostitution

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According to sources from the Ministry of Equality, the inclusion of boys and girls is intended to be a complement to the bases that the Child Protection Act feels of the Vice-presidency of Social Rights and the objective is to design “a specific route” for minor victims with the aim of “ending barriers and lack of protection”. As a novelty, the norm foresees the creation of specialized and adapted services in which to attend to them in all aspects: psychological, educational, legal … The idea is to implement the model of the so-called “children’s houses” generalized in other countries. These become the place of reference and all the professionals involved in the case move there, so that the minor is not subjected to the journey that he is normally forced to go through.

As explained by Equality they are “single door centers” in which children “are not revictimized.” This type of service has been repeatedly requested by children’s organizations, including Save the Children, and in Catalonia they have been launched recently.

Equality with gender violence

The law, which has just been sent to the advisory bodies, also incorporates as a novelty compared to the document approved in March a new classification of crimes that have to do with pimping and sexual exploitation. Thus, in a reform that Equality and Justice has worked on, the Government will persecute the owners of the clubs that enrich themselves with the exercise of prostitution, which may be punished with prison terms of one to three years and the closure of the establishments . It is about including in the Penal Code the so-called ‘locative third party’, a figure that contemplated the 1973 legislation and that was subsequently eliminated. In addition, it reforms the crime of pimping with the aim of ending “impunity” of the non-coercive.

As explained in March, the norm establishes a comprehensive framework of care for victims of sexual violence, in the style of what the 2004 law did with the Comprehensive Law against Gender Violence. Among the most relevant measures, it eliminates the distinction between sexual assault and abuse, explicitly defines consent, includes awareness-raising measures in the social and educational field, specialized training for all agents involved in these procedures or the implementation of so-called ‘centers crisis’ 24 hours to assist victims regardless of whether they report it or not.

Equality sources have recognized that apart from the 2004 law and this one, there are other types of violence against women that remain to be addressed. Specifically, abortions and forced sterilization, gyneco-obstetric violence and so-called surrogacy. The same sources have assured that they will be dealt with in the future reform of the Abortion Law announced by Minister Irene Montero a few weeks ago, and that among other things it intends to end the reform that Mariano Rajoy’s PP carried out in 2015 to end the Right of minors under 16 and 17 years of age to voluntarily terminate their pregnancy without parental consent.


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