The European Parliament endorses the ‘only yes is yes’ model in the future European law against sexist violence

The European Parliament endorses the ‘only yes is yes’ model in the future European law against sexist violence

2023-06-28 13:44:46

The European Parliament wants all sexual assaults in which there is no consent to be considered rapes, as established by the Spanish “only yes is yes” law. The Equality and Justice commissions have set the position of the European Parliament for the future negotiations of the directive against sexist violence that Brussels promoted last year and in which consent was placed at the center, as had happened years before in Spain. The so-called trialogues, in which the initiatives with the governments, Parliament and the Commission are agreed, will be hard since the 27 eliminated the concept of consent in their proposal.

The future European regulations will establish a minimum common denominator for crimes related to sexist violence in what has to do with sexual exploitation and cyber harassment, which are the powers of the EU. In the case of sexual assaults, the European Parliament wants the criterion of force to disappear as an element to take into account when interpreting the commission of the crime and everything revolves around consent.

The European Parliament has set a range for the penalties, which the member states will have to adjust in their legislation. The minimum maximum penalty will be at least eight years, which will increase to ten in the event of aggravating factors, such as repetition or the aggression occurring in a group. It also goes further than the text of the European Commission by including intersex genital mutilation, forced sterilization, forced marriage and sexual harassment at work in the list of crimes related to sexist violence and, therefore, under the umbrella of the directive.

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What the negotiators from the social democratic groups and the left have not managed to get ahead is the criminalization of pimping, which is one of the keys to fight against sexual exploitation, but in general terms they are satisfied with the position that the European Parliament will maintain in negotiations with governments and the Commission. The position has gone ahead with a large majority: 71 votes in favor, five against and seven abstentions.

“Spanish legislation has largely served as an example. Many people ask why we are so enthusiastic about this directive if in Spain we already have a law: precisely to shield the setbacks we are seeing. The changes that have occurred after the electoral processes imply setbacks in this. It seems dangerous to me not that Vox is in these positions but that the PP is in these positions and has sold very cheaply to abandon the fight against gender violence ”, expressed in a telephone conversation with the PSOE MEP Lina Gálvez, who celebrated especially the inclusion of the figure of General Coordinator of the EU, which will function in a similar way to the Spanish Government Delegation against Gender Violence.

“The EU has very few powers in criminal matters, so the margin of action of the European Commission was already limited. It starts from the legal basis of sexual exploitation as a eurocrime and it is proposed to include the crimes of rape, female genital mutilation and some forms of cyberviolence. However, it is especially surprising that pimping is being left out of the Directive because precisely this crime is directly related to the sexual exploitation of women”, says the parliamentarian of La Izquierda, María Eugenia Rodríguez Palop, who also regrets that it is not considered a crime to deny the right to abortion.

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“No woman in Europe will understand or agree to remove non-consensual sex as a crime in the directive. A rape does not have to be violent: if a woman does not consent, it is rape,” said another of the negotiators, the PPE MEP Frances Fitzgerald, in a statement.

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