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Spain moves to extend statute of limitations for child abuse

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Madrid (AFP)

Spain's cabinet approved a draft law on Friday which will extend the statute of limitations for cases of physical or sexual abuse of children.

Under the bill the statute of limitations for these types of crimes would begin when the victim turns 30, instead of 18 as it currently stands under Spanish law, the government said in a statement.

Campaigners have long argued that many victims take years to digest the abuse they have suffered and report them, meaning that in many cases the offenders cannot be prosecuted.

The proposed change to the criminal code, which still has to be approved by parliament, would affect sexual crimes, physical abuse, human trafficking and attempted murder.

The bill also includes "a broad definition of violence that encompasses any type of physical, emotional or psychological abuse, including corporal punishment or neglect," the statement added.

The proposed law also includes new crimes committed online such as incitement to commit suicide, commit sexual crimes or encourage bulimia or other eating disorders.

The government also said it plans to tighten the rules granting conditional release or temporary exit permits from jail for people serving time for sexual assaults against minors.

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