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New bill to introduce tougher penalties for violence against women

January 22, 2019 at 3:56pm
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Justice Minister Ionas Nicolaou on Tuesday unveiled what he called a radical overhaul of  current legislation that will introduce stiffer sentences for violence against women.

Under the proposal, the jail term for attempted rape will rise from 10 to 15 years, for indecent assault against a woman from two to 10 and for attempting to corrupt a girl under 13 from three to 15 years.

The maximum penalties for rape and for corrupting a girl under 13 are already life.

As regards corrupting a woman with mental/psychological disability, the penalty rises from two to 20 years while for holding a woman against her will, the penalty doubles from five to 10 years.

An indecent act will be punishable with up to five years in jail compared to the current five, while attempting to or imprisoning a women will be punishable with 15 years, compared to the current seven. Real bodily harm will carry a sentence of up to 12 years from the current seven.

Causing injury will be punishable with seven years in jail, up from three and common assault with three years in jail and/or  5000 euro fine, up from one year in jail and 1000 pounds (1700 euro).

The penalty for stalking will rise from three to five years as will that of sexual harassment. Forcing a woman to have an abortion will be punishable with life imprisonment (from the current 14) while the penalty for female genital mutilation will double from five to 10 years.

Sexual acts without penetration without a woman’s consent will be punishable with up to 20 years in jail. In the case of a girl under 13 the same offence carries a penalty of life imprisonment  while in the case of a girl aged between 13 and 16, the penalty is 25 years in jail.

Sexual harassment will be punishable with two years in jail and in the case of a girl under 13, 10 years. If the girl is aged 13 to 16 it will be seven years.

Abusing a position of trust, influence or power over a woman is punishable with up to 10 years in jail. If the woman is vulnerable because of mental or physical disability or dependence, then the offender faces jail of up to 20 years.

The bill also introduces penalties for those who fail to report violence against women that can be up to five years in jail and/or a fine of 10,000 euro.

The bill must be approved by the House of Representatives.