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Changing the definition of rape and different voices from PiS. Not everyone thinks the new law will be bad

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The fight to change the definition of rape has been going on for years, and the opportunity appeared after the change of government. For many victims of sexual crimes, this is a key issue. The new definition is to include words about causing a person to engage in sexual intercourse “in another way despite the lack of his or her consent.” PiS MP Grzegorz Lorek and Confederation MPs argued during the debate in the Sejm that this meant depriving men of the presumption of innocence. However, Agnieszka Wojciechowska van Heukelom, an MP from Law and Justice, supports this change.

PiS MP Grzegorz Lorek, during the second reading of the bill on changing the definition of rape, tried to prove that if a man does not obtain written consent to sex every time, he will be in a losing position from the start.

– Today, prosecutors and courts are investigating whether the sex was with the woman's consent. The new law is pure demagogy and de facto a gift for ruthless and vindictive women who will now be able to use this law to attack their former lover, argued Lorek. Vice-Marshal Włodzimierz Czarzasty, who chaired the meeting, found these words terrifying.

– Saying that it will be used for private male-female wars is a huge exaggeration, it is absolutely shameful. – commented Katarzyna Kotula, Minister for Equality, MP from the Left.

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– We want women to be safe, for this law to protect women above all. When I hear what MP Lorek says from the parliamentary rostrum, it makes my hair stand on end – assessed Maciej Wróbel, MP of the Civic Platform

READ ALSO: The definition of rape from almost a hundred years ago. Women are fighting for change

Confederation MPs are of a similar opinion to MP Lorek. – This bill de facto introduces a presumption of guilt, a presumption of guilt that every person accused of rape will have to prove that they are not a criminal – said Witold Tumanowicz, Confederation MP, from the Sejm rostrum.

However, none of the clubs has spoken out directly against the bill, and if there is no party discipline, even PiS MPs – at least some of them – have declared that they will be in favor. – Here, the will of a woman, the awareness of a woman when undertaking a sexual act is very important, so I am absolutely on the side of women – said Agnieszka Wojciechowska van Heukelom, MP of Law and Justice.

Lorek (PiS) on changing the definition of rape: the new law is pure demagogy, a gift for ruthless and vindictive womenTVN24

Lawyers also have reservations

The current definition of rape is a record from 1932 – almost a hundred years old. It fails to take into account that during this time the world, customs, reality and women's rights – everything – have changed radically. The Left's project discussed in the Sejm assumes that any sexual intercourse without conscious and free consent is rape.

– There doesn't have to be a trick, there doesn't have to be violence, a woman doesn't have to defend herself, bite or scratch, it's enough that she doesn't want to – explains Katarzyna Piekarska, an MP from the Civic Coalition.

Whoever subjects another person to sexual intercourse by force, unlawful threat, deceit or in any other manner despite the lack of the person's consent shall be subject to the penalty of deprivation of liberty for a term of between 2 and 15 years.

Whoever, by force, unlawful threat or fraud, causes another person to have sexual intercourse, shall be subject to the penalty of imprisonment for a term of 2 to 15 years.

For organizations supporting rape victims, this is just the beginning of change. – Changing the provisions of the Penal Code alone is not enough to change, for example, the practice of courts or prosecutors' offices – points out Joanna Gzyra-Iskandar from the “Feminonoteka” Foundation.

ALSO CHECK: Female MPs danced in the Sejm. They want to change the definition of rape

Lawyers point out the inequalities in the bill. – It differentiates the types of victims, i.e. people with some intellectual disability, for example, if someone rapes, they may be threatened with a lesser punishment – says Agata Bzdyń, legal adviser.

Main image source: Fakty TVN

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