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Draft changes to the definition of rape rejected in the Sejm

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By the votes of the United Right, Kukiz’15 and the Confederation, the request to proceed with the project concerning changes in the definition of rape in Polish law was rejected. Previously, the Left’s project spent 458 days in the parliamentary freezer.

The project proposed by Lewica was about changing one article. According to the current definition, rape is defined as an intercourse involving violence, threats or deception. According to the Left’s project, rape would be to lead to sexual intercourse without prior informed and free consent. The draft also assumed an increase in the minimum sentence from two to three years’ imprisonment.

“§ 1. Whoever by force, unlawful threat or deception causes another person to have sexual intercourse, shall be subject to the penalty of deprivation of liberty for a term of between 2 and 12 years”

“§ 1. Whoever brings another person to sexual intercourse without the prior expression of informed and free consent by that person, shall be punishable by imprisonment for not less than 3 years”

According to Lewica MP Anita Kucharska-Dziedzic, the new wording of the article of the Criminal Code “will leave no doubt for those who decide whether the rape took place in all the situations in which we are currently deliberating”.

“Very often freezing in fear is the most sensible mode”

Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziorbo, who on Thursday was against introducing the bill to the Sejm, accused the opposition on Friday that it “repeatedly voted against the proposals Solidarity Poland stricter punishments for rapes against women, rapes with particular cruelty. ”

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However, the project is not about stricter penalties, but about the perpetrators being recognized as rapists at all. Currently, it is the person who has fallen victim to rape who has to prove that they objected, shouted or beat the perpetrator. – If there are no traces, then there is no evidence, so maybe you wanted to yourself. It is known that the perpetrator of violence will defend himself in this way – said Urszula Nowakowska from the Women’s Rights Center Foundation.

People in a life-threatening situation choose one of the three instinctive reactions – fight, run away or freeze. – Very often in a rape situation, freezing in fear, entering the “I don’t move” mode, is the most sensible mode, because we will not be murdered – said psychologist and psychotherapist Agnieszka Czapczyńska from the Center for Personal Development and Psychotherapy “Joy of Being”.

Minister Ziobro wanted to denounce the anti-violence convention

I oblige Poland to define rape as causing sexual intercourse without the consent of the aggrieved party Istanbul Convention. Although in March 2021, the minister Zbigniew Ziobro declared that he “signs with both hands to the Istanbul Convention in the scope and content that calls for the prevention of violence against women”, in July 2020 he applied to the family ministry to start work on terminating it. As he explained, the convention contains “ideological” provisions with which his ministry does not agree.

Ziobro filed a motion to terminate the Anti-Violence ConventionTVN24

The Convention on Preventing and Combating Violence Against Women and Domestic Violence (known as the Anti-Violence Convention or the Istanbul Convention) aims to protect women from all forms of violence and discrimination. The document assumes, inter alia, that there is a connection between violence and unequal treatment and that violence cannot be justified by tradition or religion. Poland signed the convention in December 2012 and ratified it in 2015.

– Now, unfortunately, it is often the case that it is the woman who feels guilty, responsible, that if she could have followed a different path, did not go out with this man, or did not smile, maybe nothing bad would have happened to her – says Urszula Nowakowska.

Women who have experienced rape are also disadvantaged by delaying reporting it for fear of being treated. – Then they hear: why did you not report so long. Only after a month did you remember? – quotes Nowakowska.

Representatives of the Left have announced that they will continue to fight for the bill to be discussed by the Sejm.

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