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Abusers can’t be ‘forgiven’ by victims under revised penal code

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Lawmakers in Yucatan voted unanimously to remove pressure from domestic-abuse victims to “forgive” their aggressors. Photo: Punto Medio

The Yucatan Penal Code has been modified to prevent domestic violence victims to be coerced into forgiving their abusers.

Authorities intervening in domestic abuse have often “resolved” cases by negotiating with victims to let the aggressor off the hook, according to a report in Punto Medio.

The victims often comply out of fear of their partners or pressure from police officers eager to move on.

The state legislature’s Commission of Justice and Public Security, responding to high rates of domestic violence in Yucatan, approved amendments to Article 115 the code to remove the “forgiveness” option for aggressors.

The initiative was introduced by the Movimiento Ciudadano party and had unanimous support from the other lawmakers.

“In Yucatan, we are number one in reporting,” said Deputy Milagros Romero Bastarrachea. “We do not know if the Yucatecans are the most violent in Mexico, but we are the ones who report the most, so it is an issue that we must attend to.”

The Justice Commission also moved to toughen sanctions for the nonpayment of alimony.

The unanimous vote brings a potential prison sentence of eight years for ignoring court-ordered payments.

Also, a proposed revision to Article 348 of the Yucatan Penal Code that criminalizes arson in forests, jungles and crops, was tabled after Deputy Felipe Cervera Hernández asked for clarification on the liability of property owners who hired someone for the job.

Source: Punto Medio

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