The world manifests against sexual violence, after five men were tried in Spain for abuse and not for rape
Leer en español: #Cuéntalo: “No es abuso, es violación” y la condena española
It is San Fermín festivities of 2016 and a young woman from Madrid decides to go partying in Pamplona. In the course of the night, she remains alone. She meets a young man and his friends. They talk. They tell her that they will accompany her to her car. Then, one of them kisses her. She, explained later, is shocked because she did not expect it. They corner her and take her to a portal. The young woman acquires a neutral and passive attitude -which was recorded-, and her behavior begins to be guided by them. They penetrate her anally, buccally, and vaginally, they ejaculate without a condom and record everything; all without her consent. Finally, they leave her lying and they stole her phone.
For the judges, these facts do not constitute a rape and the five men involved - known as "La Manada" (The Pack) by the WhatsApp group to which they belonged- were acquitted of said crime and sentenced to 9 years in prison for sexual abuse.
This is the case of the young woman from Madrid who generated controversy in 2016 and generates it again now that the judgment of those involved has been issued. The verdict caused outrage in Spain, but as it went viral, the indignation have had no borders. Dublin, London, Lisbon, Paris, Brussels, Berlin, Prague, and Budapest have joined the protests against the decision of the three magistrates who have the slogan: "It is not abuse, it is rape".
The sentence: why abuse and not rape?
Article 181 of the Spanish Criminal Code establishes that the difference between sexual abuse and sexual assault does not consist in the concurrence of carnal access, but in violence or intimidation.
According to law , any sexual action without consent is considered abuse, and to become aggression there must be force or intimidation. For this reason, the provisional hearing of Navarra, in charge of the case, considered that although there was no consent, the facts were developed without resorting to the previous ones, for which the penalty requested by the prosecution, 22 years and 10 months in prison, and compensation of 100 thousand euros each was not achieved.
The controversy and its consequences
During the process, the court approved the hiring of an investigator who inspected the social networks of the young woman to analyze her publications before and after the aggression. In the trial, there were taken into account facts such as that she had gone on vacation or photos of her account in which she was posted phrase from a television program.
This generated the indignation of more than 30,000 people, who have marched numerous times in different cities of Spain and the world, under the slogans: "I do believe you", "it is not abuse, it is rape", and they have created a manifesto.
"For patriarchal justice, survival becomes proof that there is no violation. We are here to support the victim of the multiple violation of San Fermín ", was read in the manifesto read in the city of Paris.
In addition, the case crossed borders under the hashtag # Cuéntalo (#Tellit) in the social network Twitter, through which women from around the world stood in solidarity with the victim and reported situations in which justice had failed them or victims of known cases. The government, the parties, and the Spanish opposition, after the commotion provoked by the sentence, announced initiatives to revise the concept of violence of the penal code for cases of rape and to establish reforms.
In what other cases has justice failed worldwide?
Dennis Lorena Cortés and Amalia Martínez (2007), a case denounced by El Espectador, were stolen, intimidated, and raped. The victims denounced and the accused was sentenced. However, when the case came to magistrate José Leonidas Bustos, he stated:
"A woman who is going to be acceded carnally enters into tears, anguish, anger, despair, and does the impossible to prevent that fact is consumed, and her reaction is more vehement when she is not alone facing a situation of this nature. It is absurd to argue that there was no consent in the present case, if we take into account that it was two young adults, whose ages are 18 and 20 years, who were not in inferiority compared to the alleged aggressor.
The aggressor was acquitted of the sentence.
The disappearance of Linda Loaiza (2001) was reported, but ignored for four months until she was found in the Los Palos Grandes, area of Caracas. Loaiza was beaten, tied up, her mouth was disfigured, and she was subjected to sexual violence and torture in a systemic way.
Her assailant was Luis Carrera Almoina, son of Gustavo Luis Carrera Damas, former rector of the National Open University from a prominent intellectual family. His network of influences allowed him to evade justice.
Carrera was charged with the crimes of Frustrated Homicide, Rape, Deprivation of Liberty and Torture, but Judge Rosa Cadiz acquitted him and ordered to investigate the victim and her family accusing them of being part of a prostitution network.
Subsequently, the decision was appealed and the so-called "Big Stick monster" was sentenced for six years "for very serious injuries and deprivation of liberty." His audience was deferred in 38 opportunities. Her file was in the hands of 76 judges and magistrates, and her case is the first case of violence against women in Venezuela to reach the Inter-American Court of Human Rights, where it demands the State for not offering justice.
Carmen Romero Pérez was attacked by her partner. She denounced him hoping to be able to defend herself under Law 54 of domestic violence, but she was denied the protection given the adulterous nature of the relationship she had with his aggressor. The law of her country does not include or protect adulterous relationships.
María Zulema Liek (2014) presented several complaints of gender violence, her ex-husband appears in her work and murders her with a shot in the chest. After doing so, he commits suicide.
This was the third femicide of the area in a year and provoked a protest called "fed up femicides."
Latin American Post | Camila González C.
Translated from “ #Cuéntalo: “No es abuso, es violación” y la absurda condena española”