Malenica: Sexual Harassment Will Be Prosecuted Ex Officio

Total Croatia News

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Patrik Macek/PIXSELL
Ivan Malenica, Croatian Minister of Justice, at Sabor today
Ivan Malenica, Croatian Minister of Justice, at Sabor today

Besides strengthening protection mechanisms for victims of domestic and sexual violence and harassment, the amendments envisage punishment for revenge pornography.

All those who share with others intimate videos made consensually for personal use without the consent of the person filmed, thus violating their right to privacy, would now be penalized.

Deepfake pornography, i.e. the use of modern technology to manipulate explicit content to violate someone’s privacy, is also defined as a criminal offense.

Those offenses are punishable with up to one year in prison, or three if a video becomes available to a larger number of people.

To more strongly counter gender-based violence and better protect victims, the amendments extend the “close person” category to include current and former intimate partners, not just family members, former spouses, life partners, informal life partners, or persons with whom a victim has a child or lives in the same household.

All criminal offenses committed by a close person will be prosecuted ex officio, and the list of offenses without a statute of limitations will now include serious sexual abuse and harassment of children.

Extending the “close person” category requires amending the domestic violence protection law.

Marija Selak Raspudić of the opposition Bridge party warned about an 81% increase in domestic violence during the pandemic. Malenica said he expected the amendments to result in changes in behavior.

Nikola Grmoja (Bridge) pushed for a package of anti-pedophilia laws and stricter punishment of pedophiles. Malenica said pedophilia was socially unacceptable and that the Criminal Code would be further improved.

Ružica Vukovac of the opposition Homeland Movement said penalties were too lenient. Malenica said he hoped security measures such as removing the abuser from the family would result in better protection.

Vesna Bedeković of the ruling Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ) said the extension of the “close person” category would strengthen the legal protection of domestic violence victims.

Katarina Nemet of the opposition Istrian Democratic Party called against exchanging punishment for domestic violence with community service.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN’s dedicated page.


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