Congress gives green light to ‘Rhodes law’ against violence against children

Publication: Thursday, April 15, 2021 1:39 PM

The Congressional Plenary approved the Protecting Children from Violence Act, known as the “ Rhodes Law, ” which will begin counting the statute of limitations for serious crimes when the victim turns 35, with broad consensus and the opposition, with different arguments, of Vox and PNV.

The bill received 268 affirmative votes, 57 against and 16 abstentions. He will now go to the Senate, where he is to continue his treatment in committee and plenary, with the announcement by various groups that they are keeping the amendments alive to continue, including improvements.

The law leaves Congress with the vote against PNV because it understands that it is invading powers and Vox for ideological reasons, while PdeCat and EH Bildu have chosen to abstain, as announced by their spokespersons during the debate.

The law was amended agreed in the last hours between the PSOE, United Podemos, PP, Ciudadanos, Bildu, Grupo Plural, BNG, Más País and the Republican Group, which increases the age of the victim by five years from which the prescription will be counted for sexual abuse, now set at 18.

Victims of abuse, social entities and parties, such as PP and Ciudadanos, had argued the importance of further extending this period, even calling for it to be set at 40 years, to corner the aggressors who usually commit crimes. ill-treatment and abuse against minors within their homes or in a nearby environment.

The Committee on Social Rights and Comprehensive Disability Policies incorporated 200 amendments from different groups and over 60 transactional ones to the report put to the plenary vote (which received the vote against VOX and PNV and the abstention from the Republican Group and EH Bildu ).

However, organizations for the defense of children, victims and some parties believe that the debate in plenary session can be further improved and also propose to modify the recognition given by the law as “agents of authority” to social services, because this could cause the families to be defenseless against the administration, in the event of removal of the guardianship of minors for abandonment.

The text that is approved in the Lower House strengthens the child’s right to be informed, and not just listened to, in administrative and judicial processes and to lodge a personal and direct complaint.

In addition, after its passage by the Commission, the law is endowed with a gender perspective, eliminating approaches such as the parental alienation syndrome (PAS) and integrating measures of the State Pact against gender violence.

They were ultimately left out, due to the lack of support from the Socialist Group, United We Can’s proposals not to allow minors to participate in bullfighting shows and schools and only in the event of deportations. families with children, adequate housing solutions are offered and psychosocial support.

The legislative initiative sent to Parliament from social rights broadens the definition of violence, pursues crimes committed via the Internet, creates specialized units in the security forces and organs, a central information register, an aid coordinator social protection and protection in educational centers and promotes the training of judges. and prosecutors.

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