Amendments to the nation’s sex crime laws went into effect Thursday — heralding progress for victims and their supporters but highlighting the many hurdles that remain.
The revisions to the Penal Code, the first in more than a century, expanded the acts that constitute rape. Previously limited only to vaginal penetration by a penis, the legal definition now includes forced anal and oral sex, meaning men can be rape victims.
Minimum sentences have ratcheted up to five years from three. Moreover, authorities can prosecute offenses such as rape and indecent assault even if the victim does come forward to file a formal complaint.