On July 6, 2021, Spain’s Council of Ministers approved the text of the bill on the Organic Law on the Comprehensive Guarantee of Sexual Freedom, also known as “the law of only yes is yes.” The bill will be debated in Congress in the fall of 2021.
The bill would provide for the adoption and implementation of effective, global, and coordinated policies by competent public administrations for the prevention and punishment of sexual violence. The bill would put the victims at the center, reinforcing prevention and awareness as well as reparations and support measures.
The main principles of the bill are as follows:
- Requiring specific positive sexual consent
Sexual consent would be understood as such only when it was freely expressed through acts that, in view of the circumstances of the case, clearly expressed the will of the person. Therefore, victims would no longer have to prove that they resisted or that there was violence for the aggressor’s act to be considered sexual assault.
- Eliminating sexual abuse as a crime
Sexual abuse would be eliminated as type of crime, and any sexual act without consent would be considered sexual assault.
- Protecting against all sexually related violence
All women, boys, and girls who were victims of sexual violence, including victims of sex trafficking, would be subject to protection and compensation.
- Criminalizing street sexual harassment
Street sexual harassment would be defined as expressions or behaviors of a sexual nature that put women in a humiliating or intimidating situation. Such harassment would become a crime for which the harasser was punished by performing mandatory community service or being permanently relocated away from the victim.
- Pursuing pimps
The bill would provide for the prosecution of pimps who, regularly and for profit, allowed public or private spaces to be used for the sexual exploitation of third parties.
- Avoiding revictimization