Local April 1, 2021 | 10:51 am

New Penal Code includes sanctions against bullying

Santo Domingo.– Harassment, intimidation or sustained bullying against a child, adolescent or person with a disability, which takes place in the school environment or any space, would be a new classification established in the Penal Code, if the project submitted in the Chamber of Deputies is turned into Law.

The use of physical, verbal, psychological or social force with the desire and effect of hurting, threatening or frightening in a repetitive and sustained way, entails sanctions of socio-educational measures determined by the competent authority, if the victim is a minor or has a disability, and if the person responsible is a minor.

If the person who engages in harassment is over 18 years of age, the bill proposes a penalty ranging from one day to one year of simple imprisonment, and between three and six times the statutory monthly minimum wage.

In the case of recidivism, the penalty will be one to two years in prison. Harassment will be considered aggravated when they lead the victim to suicide. The offender will be punished with two to three years in prison, a fine of 30 to 40 times the statutory monthly minimum wage and socio-judicial monitoring measures.

When asked about these proposals to punish bullying in the country, the director of Plan International in the Dominican Republic, Virginia Saiz, appreciated the efforts made by the National Congress to penalize behaviors that today “are totally normalized by the society and are not considered as abuse.”

Other crimes

Harassment, aggravated harassment and sexual harassment, too, could be penalized in the Penal Code. For harassment, the bill proposes penalties of one to two years in prison, and a fine of one to 10 minimum wages, as well as socio-judicial follow-up measures in the case of harassment.

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