Spain plans radical 'yes means yes' rule in overhaul of sexual consent laws

Fiona Simpson
Mass demonstrations: Hundreds of people across Spain have called for a change in the law: EPA

Spain is set to introduce a radical new “yes means yes” law in an overhaul of the country's sexual consent rules.

Consent would have to be explicit under the law with anything else, including silence, considered to mean “no”.

The move comes after five men accused of gang-raping an 18-year-old woman in Pamplona during the bull running festival were given a lesser sentence of sexual assault.

In a clip of the attack, filmed by two of the men, the victim was silent and passive. Her response was interpreted as consent by judges ruling on the case nicknamed la manada (the wolfpack) .

Current Spanish law states that rape must involve violence and intimidation, The Guardian reported.

Spain’s deputy prime minister and equality minister Carmen Calvo Poyato, proposed the new law.

Huge protests: Campaigners descended on the streets of Madrid over the case (Getty Images)

He told the Guardian: “If a woman does not expressly say yes, then everything else is no.”

The ruling of the “wolfpack” case - which was heard in July last year - sparked mass demonstrations across the country.

In a letter to a Spanish TV station, the victim wrote: “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.”

The five men, including three soldiers and a member of the civil guard, are currently on bail pending an appeal against their nine-year sentence.