Victims of pedophilia in the Church They have demonstrated this Thursday before the Congress to demand that political parties "get wet" and clarify their position on the extension of the statute of limitations for this crime, which they want to take from the age of 18, the age at which it is currently begins to count the time to report, up to 50 years. Before the next election campaign, they have asked that each formation put it in writing in its program.
The Government of Pedro Sánchez handles a bill that envisages raising to 30 years the age at which the statute of limitations starts, five years for abuse, and 15 for sexual assault. "It's insufficient, with that assumption, the case of Montserrat, for example, where 10 victims have appeared, none of them could denounce. The youngest is now 36 years old, "he explains. Miguel Hurtado, spokesperson of the National Association for Stolen Childhood (ANIR), the first victim to denounce the friar Andreu Soler in the Catalan sanctuary. With his proposal, abuse would prescribe at age 55 and aggression at age 65.
Hurtado has spoken with Juan Cuatrecasas, president of ANIR and father of the victim of the Gaztelueta school in Bizkaia, and with Peter Saunders, former member of the Vatican antipederalist commission created by Pope Francis. They have also collected more than 520,000 signatures in a campaign on change.org to ask that pedophile crimes never prescribe.
"This reform of the Penal Code would guarantee that Spain would join the head of the most advanced countries in protecting children. In the last decade, there has been a global trend to eliminate or significantly increase the statute of limitations for crimes of pedophilia, "says Hurtado. In recent weeks he has met with almost all parliamentary groups, who have shown their interest, but have only promised to study the proposal. "The time to study the problem is over, we have to act," he says. The victims expected the new law to pass this term, but their end has left them waiting again.
"If Congress continues to refuse to amend the law, Justice will still be unable to identify or punish many serial pedophiles who work in churches, schools, sports clubs … Scientific evidence shows that, unlike other crimes, the risk Recurrence of pedophiles in series does not decrease with age. These types of criminals continue to be a danger for our children to this day. Changing the law will not only punish past crimes, but prevent future crimes. We ask Congress not to fail Spanish children, "explains Hurtado.
According to ANIR data, there are already many countries where pedophilia does not prescribe. Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, and 41 US states. Also in Argentina, El Salvador, Mexico, Ecuador. In Chile, it is in the process of being approved. In Europe, it only happens in Switzerland, since 2008, and in the Netherlands, since 2013, for offenses punishable by more than eight years in prison.