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Barcelona hospital treats double the number of sexual assault victims than in 2005

Hospital Clínic's specialist team deals with a case of aggression a day, some 91% of whom are women


21 November 2018 07:09 PM


ACN | Barcelona

Barcelona's Hospital Clínic has reported a significant increase in the number of victims of sexual assault its has attended over the past few years.

Up to the end of October, the hospital says it has dealt with more than double the number of victims than it did in 2005, some 351 compared to 170.

Yet at the same time, the percentage of victims reporting sexual aggression against them to the hospital has gone down in recent years, from 74% to 63%.

With a specialist team and specific protocol for treating victims, Clínic has been Barcelona's primary hospital for dealing with sexual assault cases for the past 20 years.

400 victims expected by year's end

After treating some 351 victims in the first 10 months of the year, the hospital estimates that by the end of the year that figure will have risen to 400.

That number represents a 33% increase over the 302 people treated for sexual aggression in the whole of 2017. Of the 351 victims this year, some 91.5% were women.

The month when the hospital treated most victims was July, with 45, while the quietest month was May, with 29. Since May it has treated 12 girls under the age of 17.

In fact, most of the aggression was against young people, with 62% of victims (219 cases) under 25. That is followed by 49 cases against women between 26 and 30, and 13 victims over 50.

Some 43.6% of the women assaulted were of Spanish nationality, with 56% being immigrants, tourists or foreign students. In the case of men, half of the victims were locals.

All the aggressors were men

As for the aggressors, all of them were men, with 36% of them being known to their victims. In 8% of cases there was more than one aggressor, and 70% of cases involved penetration.

The hospital also says that 56% of the attacks against women took place in homes, 20% in public places, and 10% in bars and clubs. As for men, half were assaulted in homes, 30% in public places and also 10% in bars and clubs.

Meanwhile, some 59% of women admitted to consuming drugs or alcohol before they were assaulted, and 53% of men. Also, 25% of women and 33% of men suspected having been surreptitiously given drugs before they were attacked.

In all, 62% of women reported their assault straight away, with the rest doing so at a later date or not at all, while 70% of men made a statement. This is a slight decrease from the previous figure over 70%, although the reasons for the decline are not known.

Over the years, the hospital has developed a special protocol for dealing with victims of sexual aggression, as many arrive feeling "humiliated" and "in a state of shock." The hospital also has a specialized team trained to deal with such victims that coordinates with the police.


  • Area to treat sexual violence victims in the Hospital Clinic (by Pol Solà, ACN)

  • Area to treat sexual violence victims in the Hospital Clinic (by Pol Solà, ACN)