• Citizens’ leader Albert Rivera says men, women should face equal sentences
• Party claims extra jail time for aggravated assault is unfair, unconstitutional
Citizens party leader Albert Rivera has stirred controversy over his party’s proposal to set the same jail sentences for women as for men found guilty of domestic violence under Spanish law.
Currently, Spanish men convicted of assaulting their partners or former partners face up to six months in jail under the terms of a law passed in 2004 and upheld by Spain’s Constitutional Court in 2008. In the all other cases of assault, including when a woman assaults a man who is or was her partner, the maximum detention that can be meted out under the law is three months.
Rivera has said that the Citizens’ party favors amending the law to make the sentences equal for either men or women convicted of assaulting a partner.
The party bases its argument on Article 14 of the Constitution, which forbids discrimination on the basis or birth, race, sex, religion or opinion. The Constitutional Court, however, has previously ruled that domestic violence by a man against a woman is an additional factor that elevates the violence to the level of aggravated assault and the maximum six-month sentence can be applied.