Friday, September 29

The UN rapporteur against sexist violence reproaches Spain for reducing sentences for the law of ‘only yes is yes’

The UN special rapporteur on violence against women and girls, Reem Al Salem, has expressed this Tuesday her “concern” because after the entry into force of the law of ‘only if it is yes’ sentences have been reduced for sexual offenders .

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“Although there is no going back, it is now crucial that the Spanish Government and its institutions monitor the real impact of the early release of perpetrators of violence on the lives of victims, try to minimize re-victimization and guarantee their protection. ”, Al Salem said, according to a UN statement.

The CGPJ confirmed last April that after the entry into force of the “only yes is yes” law, at least 978 sex offenders had seen their sentences reduced and of them, 104 had been released from prison, according to data collected up to on March 31 by the governing body of judges.

“For a country with a high rate of femicide, reducing the sentences of those guilty of perpetrating acts of sexual violence – against women and minors – sends the wrong message about the priorities of the State when it comes to ending violence against women. and children and fight against impunity for such crimes”, he stated.

Reem Al Salem has valued, however, that the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, recognized that the application of the rule had “had undesired effects”, something that, he said, is “commendable”, at the same time that he has shown himself in favor of the reform of the law promoted by the PSOE.

On this point, the expert regretted that the positive effects of the law have been “overshadowed” by “the negative consequences”, and among these aspects she has highlighted “preventive measures to combat sexual violence; recognition of the rights of victims and facilitation of their access to remedies; emphasis on the obligation of the State to provide legal and medical assistance; and guarantees of the right to reparation”.

The UN special rapporteur has also expressed concern that the law is not accompanied by resources that guarantee that it is applied correctly and has regretted that close to half of the victims “do not receive any compensation provided for in the sentences imposed by the courts to their aggressors”. In this sense, the recently entered into force Comprehensive Law for the Guarantee of Sexual Freedom establishes for the first time the right to reparation for victims of sexual crimes and establishes some parameters that in theory should be taken into account when establishing compensation .