The worrying increase in sexual assaults

BarcelonaThe data does not lie. Summing up the files of all the police forces operating in Catalonia, from the Mossos to the Civil Guard through the municipal police, a considerable increase in sexual assault complaints has been detected in recent years. Specifically, complaints have doubled in the last six years. The situation has reached a point where a violation is reported every 12 hours in Catalonia. Only in the city of Barcelona is one every two days. And the most worrying thing is that it is a type of crime that did not decrease even during the pandemic, when nightlife was closed, which shows that it is a type of structural violence that occurs especially in the field familiar

Experts have not yet agreed on whether these figures reflect a real increase in assaults or whether what is there is an outcropping of the data, meaning that more and more are being reported because there is more sensitivity of the fact that this violence needs to be made visible. In fact, according to experts such as Alba Alfageme, the current number of complaints would only be the tip of the iceberg, since it is estimated that only 15% of assaults reach the police station. This type of violence, especially if it occurs in the family or between acquaintances, is still very difficult to report, because the victim is afraid of possible reprisals and stigmatization.

Faced with these scandalous figures, the administrations and all of society in general must be on the alert. There is no doubt that younger generations of girls are more aware of the issue, but there is still a lot of work to be done. One of the controversies of the summer – the trickle of allegations of stabbings related to chemical submission – shows that male violence does not differentiate between age groups and adapts to new environments. In this context, it is essential to continue with women’s protection policies in various areas. The purple information points are an essential tool to make the problem visible and provide security, but the police presence and good lighting must also be ensured. And then, obviously, there is the whole process of accompanying the victim, the great pending subject, and the danger of revictimization in the trials.

But all this will be of no use if there is no basic work in the field of education. At a time when the extreme right threatens to veto what content in schools with proposals such as the parental pin, it is necessary to focus even more on sexual education and on the criticism of gender roles. Toxic masculinities, on the one hand, and the hypersexualization of girls at an ever earlier age, on the other, end up being an explosive cocktail. It is high time that we all take this problem seriously and tackle it with a global approach, not only from the police and the Penal Code, but from all those aspects that end up leading to gender-based violence.


Source: Ara.cat – Portada by www.ara.cat.

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