There have been four gang rapes or assaults in Spain in the past 3 weeks. Moreover, it is worrying that the perpetrators are younger and younger. Both the hot weather and porn appear to have a negative influence on perpetrators of sexual violence.
A few days ago, two minors aged 12 and 13 were raped in Burjassot (Valencia) by five teenagers between the ages of 15 and 17. Also at the beginning of this week, reports were made of assault of a 30-year-old woman in Almería by three men. The third report concerns the arrest of four young people on charges of raping an 18-year-old woman in Villa-Real (Castellón). More than two weeks ago, there was also a report of the sexual abuse of a woman on the beach near Málaga. Three men have been arrested in this case.
Reports of rape significantly increased in 2021
These are just the examples from the past three weeks. In the year 2021, 2,143 reports of rape were registered. That equates to nearly six cases a day or one every four hours. These figures come from the Ministry of the Interior. This figure is 34.3% higher than in 2020, the year of the pandemic and 14.4% higher than in 2019.
According to Minister Grande-Marlaska, it is not the case that there are more cases of sexual violence in Spain, but that it is reported more often. However, official figures of gang rapes, which have happened four times in the past 3 weeks, are not yet available. Independent research by Femenicidio.net shows that there have been at least 274 gang rapes between 2016 and 2021, the Spanish newspaper Público reported on Tuesday.
Two factors influence sexual violence
According to the Femenicidio coordinator, two factors play a role in the increase in this type of sexual violence;
- The seasonal factor; in spring and summer, young people have more free time and go out more often and there are many festivals. In many cases, gang rape perpetrators are men between the ages of 25 and 33 with no criminal record. They often strike on weekends and in public areas, and in many cases alcohol or narcotics are involved.
- The other factor is pornography. Watching porn is related to the increase in sexual violence in society. Young people are stimulated by this and use this as an example in real life. It is therefore essential that measures are taken in this area to tackle sexual aggression, says the Femeninicidio coordinator.
Still a lot of fear and shame among victims of sexual violence
According to the latest survey by the Ministry of Equality, nearly 3 million women in Spain have experienced sexual violence. However, only 8% of these women reported this. Many women do not report the crime because they were minors at the time, out of shame or out of fear of not being believed.
Sexual Violence Act still to be approved by Spanish government
In July 2021, the Council of Ministers approved the “Sólo sí es sí” (Only yes is yes) law against sexual violence. In accordance with this law, explicit consent must be given for sexual acts. If not, the perpetrator is punishable. Equality Minister Montero last week called for the support of the Spanish government to introduce this law as soon as possible to guarantee the rights of all women.