18:04 / 26.05.2023.

Author: Nikola Badovinac

Opposition parties table amendments to penal code

Teddy Bear

Teddy Bear

Foto: Pixabay / Pixabay

Two opposition parties, far-left leaning Možemo and centre-right Most, have separately tabled amendments to the Penal Code which would repeal the statute of limitations for the sexual abuse of children and introduce harsher penalties. 

Sandra Benčić from Možemo is calling for all criminal acts of sexual abuse of children under the age of fifteen to have a minimum sentence of five years in prison.

The current penalties are evidently not effective deterrents, said Marija Selak Raspudić from Most, adding that the party is proposing no statute of limitations for the sexual abuse of children under fifteen.

"We hope these harsh sentences will have a deterring effect. When it comes to sexual violence and sexual abuse of children, there must be zero tolerance. Until all of society is focused on this issue, so that the responsible institutions make sure this never happens again in the future, we cannot call ourselves a healthy society," said Selak Raspudić.

Benčić said the reason for the bill is a wave of suspicion and evidence relating to serious crimes against children, very often from persons close to or in charge of their upbringing.

Benčić said the number of undiscovered crimes against children was "extremely high" because children were unwilling to talk about it for a variety of reasons. That's why those crimes are discovered only decades later and they go unpunished due to the statute of limitations, she added.

Benčić expects the amendments to result in a much more effective protection of children from sexual abuse.

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