The Spanish Senate saved the furniture. On Wednesday, April 26, he definitively adopted a reform aimed at correcting a controversial law against sexual violence, which has led to hundreds of sentence reductions and has deeply divided the ruling left-wing coalition.

The new text, carried by the socialists, aims to put an end to these revisions of unwanted sentences and caused by a penal reform of the left executive adopted in October. This reform voted on Wednesday has deeply divided the government coalition between Podemos (radical left) and the socialists. Failing agreement, the latter had carried the reform with the unusual support of the right in the Chamber of Deputies, without the support of their radical left allies.

Dubbed “Only a yes is a yes”, the law against sexual violence, passed in October, introduced the requirement of explicit sexual consent, a promise made by the executive after a gang rape that outraged the country. a few years ago. But by eliminating the offense of “sexual abuse”, which in the old Penal Code resulted in lower penalties, to retain only one general offense of “sexual assault” including rape, this law has paradoxically lowered the penalties for certain types of sexual violence.

In order to avoid the reductions in sentences entailed by law, the reform adopted on Wednesday introduces new, heavier penalties in the event of violence or intimidation. Notions that had disappeared from the Penal Code with the law of “Only a yes is a yes”, built around the concept of explicit consent.

Aware of the devastating impact of these sentence reductions in the midst of an election year, Pedro S├ínchez has pushed in recent months for the fastest possible reform, going so far as to ask the victims “forgiveness” in mid-April, at the approach of the municipal elections of May 28 and the legislative elections scheduled for the end of the year.

Podemos has consistently maintained that the original October law was well-drafted, but was misinterpreted by “macho” judges who reduced sentences for sex offenders. This party lamented that the reform reprioritizes the existence of violence or intimidation, rather than consent, as crucial elements in determining the existence of aggression.