The Supreme Court acquits an abuser of sexually assaulting his spouse as a result of she didn’t resist | My Rights | Economy | EUROtoday

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Headquarters of the Supreme Court and National Hearing, Madrid.  © Claudio Alvarez
Headquarters of the Supreme Court and National Hearing, Madrid. © Claudio AlvarezClaudio Alvarez

Balbino (identify invented by the Judiciary to cover the identification of this particular person) was a “possessive, jealous and sexist” husband. This is how a current Supreme Court ruling describes it. He mistreated Berta (one other pseudonym), whom he married in 2001. The marriage confirmed indicators of damage and tear through the years. He was “increasingly intransigent and controlling of his wife's life, customs and friendships”. He “ignored her in front of her parents, children and her friends, limiting her economic resources to make her totally dependent on him and nullifying her as a person, opposing her working outside the home and interacting with friends.” ”. Expressions like “you're a Mongol”, “I'll tear your head off”, “you're going to find out”, “you're going to cry drops of blood” or “something big is going to happen here” had been on a regular basis occurrences. Berta's autonomy withered. She turned “a woman submissive and fearful of her husband.” Balbino, “with a strong build,” consumed alcohol and cocaine and couldn’t stand his spouse working in a bar. He got here residence late and it was widespread for him to have matches of anger and anger.

In this context, the Supreme Court has confirmed the conviction for a crime of abuse, in its psychological side, and threats, for Balbino; However, he has been acquitted of a continued crime of sexual abuse [delito ya inexistente en el Código Penal, tras la entrada en vigor de la ley de Libertad Sexual, con la que todo pasó a ser agresión]. Despite the circumstances described, which lasted till 2018, for the Court there isn’t a proof to conclude that the sexual relations maintained inside the marriage had been compelled, because the sufferer can’t show that she confirmed any sort of resistance to the sexual calls for of her husband in the course of the marriage.

The ruling, from the tip of March, to which EL PAÍS has had entry (and which you’ll be able to learn right here), corrects the earlier standards of the courtroom and the courtroom, which did recognize a context of sexual violence. The High Court guidelines on the contrary. The decision is related, because it clarifies that intercourse between an abuser and a sufferer is just not, in all instances and irremediably, synonymous with what was beforehand referred to as sexual abuse.

“I let him do it”

The judicial textual content is prolonged in particulars. She merely adopted a passive perspective when he needed to keep up relationships. “I let him do it,” says the ruling. It is confirmed that Berta “never rejected them (the relationships) or showed the accused her opposition” and the sufferer acknowledged in courtroom that didn’t specific complaints about his habitsor made gestures of disapproval “neither before nor after he completed the penetration.”

However, the ruling admits that this submission may very well be the results of “the fear that his attacks of anger instilled in him.” The spouse may very well be tolerating the sexual scenes “to avoid or prevent a disturbance in a house in which children and their parents were sleeping.”

However, for the magistrates this circumstance is just not sufficient to conclude, with none doubt, that the intercourse was compelled. “It is evident that the existence of abuse within a couple is one of the most powerful markers that consent to sexual relations may be conditioned,” they acknowledge. Although, they add, “sometimes it may not be enough.”


In conditions like this, the Court emphasizes {that a} sequence of things have to be fastidiously assessed. Specifically, it lists: “the specific content of this abuse and its frequency”, “the existence or non-existence of other encounters in which the sexual relationship could have resulted from a truly free complicity between the spouses”, “the circumstances or moments in which that the prosecuted sexual relations developed”, “the attitude maintained in them by each member”, “or a change in the will to continue or break the coexistence in the period in which these relations developed”.

The magistrates insist that it’s crucial to research “The intensity” of frequent abuse, and if this “has completely destroyed coexistence.” A state of affairs of domination doesn’t suggest “that any intimate encounter between the couple necessarily responds to tainted consent.” The core query is whether or not the husband is aware of that he’s subjugating his spouse. Although the abuse was widespread and threats existed, there was by no means a bodily assault towards the sufferer. In the absence of different indicators, and in gentle of the sufferer's story, who admits that she didn’t provide resistance, the Court confirms the crime of abuse and threats, however rejects condemning him for sexual violence.


The thorny subject of consent returns to the middle of the controversy after, just a few days in the past, the Military Chamber of the Supreme Court, in one other case, acquitted a cadet from the General Military Academy of Zaragoza who participated in a double sexual assault with penetration of one other scholar. In this case, the judges, aligned with the Criminal Chamber, thought-about that there was no proof that the sufferer expressed her refusal to keep up relations with this particular person, though the High Court did condemn one other cadet for the beforehand demonized abuse. participated in the identical scene.

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