Spain’s deputy prime minister, Carmen Calvo, announced on Tuesday that the government will present an “only yes means yes” bill; the new law will make ack of explicit consent a case of sexual assault.
Calvo is reacting to public indignation after a court allowed five men who gang-raped an 18-year old girl to walk with sexual abuse charges.
The so-called “La Manada” case took place during the 2016 Bulls festival in Pamplona; the men got five years’ probation and a €10,000 fine each, rather than a 22-year sentence. The five men had filmed the whole incident and argued that the woman did not try to defend herself. During the trial, the girl said she submitted out of fear.
The judge ruled that the perpetrators did not rape the victim but acted from a “situation of superiority” to intimidate her. Under Spanish law, that is not rape. Thousands of people took to the streets chanting “It’s not abuse, it’s rape.”
Spanish media suggest that the new law will seek to emulate Sweden, the United Kingdom, Belgium, Iceland and Germany, where any sexual act that does not entail explicit consent is considered rape.