Crime against freedom
On July 1, 2015, Organic Law 1/2015 of March 30 came into force, by which the reform of the Criminal Code was carried out.Among others, such reform introduced a new crime called crime of harassment or stalking, which fits within the crimes against freedom.It is a crime of harassment of a person without any authorization, causing serious harm to the victim.
Regulation – Article 172 ter.
The crime of unlawful harassment or stalking is regulated in Article 172 ter of the Criminal Code. According to said article, «shall be punished with imprisonment from 3 months to 2 years or a fine of 6 to 24 months whoever harasses a person by insistently and repeatedly carrying out, and without being legitimately authorized, any of the following conducts and, in this way, seriously alters the development of his daily life». Such conducts are the following:
- Hewatches her, pursues her or seeks her physical proximity
- Establish or attempt to establish contact with her through any means of communication, or through third parties
- By misusing your personal data, purchase products or goods, or contract services, or cause third parties to contact you
- Attacks against her freedom or against her patrimony, or against the freedom or patrimony of another person close to her
- If it concerns a particularly vulnerable person by reason of age, illness or situation, a term of imprisonment of six months to two years
shall be imposed.
It is very important that the victim is sufficiently informed about their possibilities in case they are suffering this type of harassment, so that the appropriate protective measures can be put in place, ensuring their safety at all times.
Likewise, it is essential that the victim is able to identify such behaviors in order to be able, in that case, to report their situation.
Purpose or objective.
Before the reform of the Penal Code, certain conducts were not qualified as harassment because this type of crime was not typified. Therefore, those persons who carried out such conducts remained unpunished on many occasions.
In view of this, and according to the explanatory memorandum of the law, this crime «is intended to provide a response to conduct of unquestionable seriousness which, on many occasions, could not be classified as coercions or threats«.
Therefore, this offense is intended to address serious and repeated conducts that seriously undermine both the freedom and the safety of the victim.
There is no doubt that, by typifying this type of conduct in the Criminal Code, the victim can benefit from the measures contained in the aforementioned Code.
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