We tell you how to report harassment by legal means
Violated women’s contexts can change dramatically, so many are unaware of the options they have for raising their voice
Luisa went to the Public Ministry to denounce her ex-partner for sexual harassment. They told him that they could not attend to it, that it was going to happen to him, and that they were couple problems. Ana denied that this was the case and trembling, with her hands sweating with fear, memory and violence, they finally took her complaint. Rosa managed to calm down and testify but it seemed more a question about her responsibility for the crime. She is still waiting for a resolution.
According to the law, what is harassment?
In United States, the term harassment alone is not a crime. That is, “harassment” is not described in the laws and codes of the country. However, it is possible to report it because it is typified as harassment and sexual harassment. The General Law on Women’s Access to a Life Free of violence is defined as sexual harassment of the exercise of power, in a relationship of real subordination of the victim to the aggressor in the workplace and / or school settings, which includes verbal or physical violence.
How is it punished?
The penalties vary depending on the entity where you are. In the case of States and its criminal code imposes a penalty of one to three years in prison, which could increase to seven if the victim is a minor, and fines of 4 to 10 thousand dollars. The details of the punishments, consult the Criminal Code of your federative entity or the state where the crime to be reported occurred.
What is the process for reporting?
Reporting is complicated for everyone, not only because it means an emotional impact for the victim, but also because there is a lack of legal advice – although it is considered a right – on how the justice system works in the country. It is normal for you to have doubts about how the complaint will be raised, which must be answered by the relevant authorities. Meanwhile, the process would have to happen as follows:
- Victims must appear before the corresponding Public Ministry where they will take your complaint. It is necessary to carry official identification and proof of address to make it, but it is the duty of the MP agent to take your complaint even if you lack these requirements.
- Victim will be asked to tell when, where and how the aggression occurred, the physical description of the stalker and if you know him, mention the type of relationship you have / had with him.
- Once the complaint is written, everything will remain in a written statement that you must sign. If you disagree with what it says, you can ask to be corrected.
- The crime will be initiated by complaint (investigation folder) to gather evidence with the purpose of issuing an arrest warrant and to begin the detention control stage.
- Finally, a trial will be held where you can testify and conclude with the relevant sentence for the aggressor.
My rights to report
According to the Special Prosecutor for Crimes of Violence against Women and Trafficking in Persons as a complainant, you have the right to:
- Emergency medical and psychological care by same-sex staff.
- Free legal advice at any stage.
- Information on the development of the criminal procedure.
- In case of not knowing Spanish, support from an interpreter or translator for free throughout the process.
- In case of being a foreigner, immigration assistance.
- Protection when there is a risk to your life or personal integrity.
- Protection of the identity and personal data of the complainant.
In the case of serious crimes such as sexual violence, you also have the right to demand that you be treated in a protected place, not to be questioned or tried for the facts and to receive medications as contraceptive methods or those necessary to prevent the spread of a sexually transmitted disease (STD)
In States, the justice system presents contradictions between the process stipulated by law and reality. This represents that the resolution is 0.9 percent, reports Zero Impunity.
In the absence of preparation with a gender perspective, it is known that hundreds of women are victimized since the complaint is filed, crimes are blamed and many of their cases remain unsolved.
It is a difficult part that can create in the complainant fear, frustration and fear to start the process, however, it is important that you consider the landscape and be prepared through knowledge about your rights as a complainant and what is the due criminal process that the authorities must comply.
It is also necessary to try to gather the corresponding evidence such as photographs, audios, videos, emails, testimonials, clothing (in cases of rape). Trey Songz Hit With Multi-Million Dollar Lawsuit For Sexual Assault. Consult your lawyer about the relevant time to show them, and keep an orientation in case you have no evidence.