The Spanish government introduced new legislation on Wednesday which states consent must be explicitly given during sexual interaction after massive protests rocked the country earlier this summer over a controversial court case, according to The Guardian. 

The consent law focused on how "yes means yes" which means consent is only granted when all partners specifically say it out loud and anything aside from vocal consent, including silence, would constitute sexual assault under Spain's criminal code.

The legislation was first announced last week by Spain's deputy prime minister and equality minister Carmen Calvo Poyato but received support from Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez expressed his support for the law in front of parliament on Tuesday.

"To be clear, ladies and gentlemen, if they say no it means no, and if they don't say yes, it means no," Sanchez said. 

The measure comes after thousands protested the "Wolf Pack" case decision in April when five men were acquited of sexual assault and charged with only sexual abuse for the rape of a young woman in Pamplona during the Running of the Bulls festival in 2016. 

The case fueled both internal protests and widespread international criticism since the three judges who ruled on the vase did not permit video taken of the assault or messaged exchanged between the alleged rapists that detailed drugging and raping other women as possible evidence.

The men exchanged their videos and messages on a Whatsapp group they called the "La Manada (Wold Pack)." 

Two of the men filmed the assault while the woman was silent and passive which the judges interpreted as consent, with one even claiming the woman appeared to be enjoying herself during the assault.

Calvo said that case galvanized the legislators to create more specific sexual assault law in Spain.

"We cannot return to a situation where, via an interpretation, what is understood to be a serious crime against women is not considered as such,” Calvo said, according to El País.

Under current Spanish law, prosecutors need to demonstrate that violence was perpetrated against the victim or that the victim was in a "vulnerable situation." 

The new law is similar to those in Germany and the United Kingdom. 

The five men from the case are out on bail and are appealing their nine-year prison sentences.

Patricia Faraldo Cabana, a law professor at the University of A Coruña, said she helped draft the law to state how consent was not only verbal but also expressed in body language.

“It can still be rape even if the victim doesn’t resist,” she said. “If she is naked, actively taking part and enjoying herself, there is obviously consent. If she’s crying, inert like an inflatable doll and clearly not enjoying herself, then there isn’t.”

The victim wrote a letter to a Spanish TV station which called on the public to not remain quiet. 

“Don’t keep quiet about it because if you do you’re letting them win. No one should have to go through this. No one should have to regret having a drink, talking to people at a fiesta, walking home alone or wearing a miniskirt.”

-WN.com, Maureen Foody

Photo: Creative Commons / Discasto
Demonstrations and protests in Madrid, Spain in 2014, added: 2015-07-21
Photo: AP / Alvaro Barrientos
Photo: Creative Commons / Discasto
Demonstrations and protests in Madrid, Spain in 2014, added: 2015-07-21
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