The Prosecutor of the Delegate Chamber for Violence against Women, Teresa Peramatoand the director of the Women’s Foundation, Marisa SoletoThey demand legal reforms that prevent victims of sexual assault from having to testify in oral proceedings and relive their suffering after having collaborated in the investigation.
They make this appeal after meeting two recent sentences in which rapists have avoided entering prison after reaching an agreement with their victims: the case of two local policemen from Estepona and the one in charge of an agricultural estate in Mula (Murcia).
The judges Suspended prison sentences on the condition that they not reoffend and to participate in a sexual reeducation program.
In the first case, sources close to the victim explained that in the spirit of the pact was to avoid the “revictimization” of the young and that it be subjected to a parallel media trial, as happened in the case of La Manada.
Teresa Peramato refuses to analyze the specific sentences as she does not fully know the circumstances of the two cases, but is clear about the necessary reforms to improve the protection of victims.
Claim, first, the reform of the Law of Criminal Procedure (Lecrim), so that in sexual crimes the testimony of the victim during the investigation of the case becomes imperatively pre-constituted evidence, so that they do not have to testify again in the oral trial.
His second claim is already included in the organic law of Guarantee of Sexual Freedom, the so-called law of the only yes is yeswhich is waiting to receive the definitive green light from Congress after a minimal amendment is approved in the Senate.
that law determines that within one year the necessary legal reforms must be approved so that the courts of violence against women also deal with sexual violence, with specific training for the prosecutors and judges who work in them.
Victims of sexual violence are mostly women, but their cases are now being dealt with by ordinary courts. “We will then have data, we will be able to see in which cases an agreement is reacheddictate tax instructions to unify criteria…”, highlights the courtroom prosecutor.
The director of the Women’s Foundation, Marisa Soletocalls for his part to “understand and respect” the decision of a victim “who does not want to go through the ordeal again” suffered throughout a very slow judicial procedure and asks not to judge her, but to focus on thinking about what changes are necessary so that these crimes do not go unpunished.
“We can’t tell a person to keep the wound open for four years“, indicates this jurist, who reiterates the need for a “structural reform” in the judicial procedure that – she says – the feminist movement has been waiting for years.
Because in cases such as those mentioned, there is a “set of circumstances that send a very powerful message of impunity” to society, which can come to think that this type of crime “is very cheap”.
This, Soleto explains, it not only hurts the victimbut also to society as a whole and therefore considers that the courts should be “rigorous in the application of penalties” to those accused of crimes against sexual freedom.
In this sense, stresses that one thing is the agreement that the victims can reach with the accused to put an end to the process and avoid further re-victimization and another is the decision of the courts to commute sentences, especially in cases like these, in which there was an “obvious” abuse of authority, especially in the case of the police.