"Spain is among the safest countries in the world and among the countries with the lowest sexual crime figures in Europe," says the criminologist. Andrea Giménez-Salinas. And it is not an opinion. For three years, his team has systematically reviewed 342 police reports and collected data on 6,600 complaints of sexual assault without prior relationship between author and victim received by the Ministry of the Interior between 2009 and 2013. The result is the greatest report made to date on one of the problems that generate more social alarm in Spain.
Their conclusions allow to draw a profile of the authors. They are young men, between 18 and 35 years old in 57% of cases, and of Spanish nationality (52%) or from South America (15%), Maghreb (11%) or Eastern Europe (10%) . After Spain, the most common countries of origin of the aggressors are Ecuador, Morocco and Romania. 32% of the assailants had a police record. And 17% had already committed at least one other sexual assault in the previous year. In the middle of the assaults, the aggressor had not walked a kilometer from his own home.
In Spain there is no specific database of sexual crimes, regret the authors
"These aggressions, especially those that end with serious consequences for the victims, are exceptional situations, although very serious and alarming," reassures Giménez-Salinas, president of the Foundation for Applied Research in Delinquency and Security, in Madrid. Your report puts the problem in the international context by citing surveys conducted around the world. One in every 1,000 women in Spain claims to have suffered some type of sexual offense in the previous five years, including from touching to extreme cases of rape. The Spanish rate is multiplied by two in Portugal, by three in France, by four in Germany, by five in Denmark, by six in the Netherlands, by eight in Canada, by nine in Switzerland, by 13 in Sweden and by 14 in EE UU
Absolute tragedies, such as the murders of Laura Luelmo or Diana Quer, are "very infrequent", underlines Meritxell Pérez, co-author of the study. "In a whole year there may not be any case of sexual assault with homicide in Spain," says Pérez, a professor of criminology at the Universidad Pontificia de Comillas. The first national report on homicide in Spain found a few days ago that in just 0.45% of murders there is also a sexual assault.
The new report of the Ministry of the Interior also traces a profile of the victims: young women, between 18 and 35 years old in 61% of cases, and with Spanish nationality (66%) or from South America (12%), Europe Central (9%) or Eastern Europe (6%). 61% of them suffered aggression at night. And in 29% of the cases some type of penetration was consummated. The presentation of the study, scheduled for June 5, it was canceled after the motion of censure that knocked down the Government of Mariano Rajoy and the document remained in a drawer. The Ministry of the Interior has just posted the report on its website.
Sex offenders with unknown victims are a challenge for the security forces. Only 51% of the cases are clarified, compared to 71% in the set of sexual crimes. The authors of the report suggest political measures. In Spain, they point out, there is no specific database of sexual crimes. The Giménez-Salinas team urgently needs to create a – shared by National Police and Civil Guard – and to include in it the GPS coordinates of all places where these crimes are committed to "detect possible places of concentration of vulnerable victims". In addition, the authors propose to collect in the future more information about the aggressors, such as their level of education or possible mental disorders.
"The sample obtained in this research is very relevant and sufficient to describe the phenomenon at a national level," says the report, in which experts from the Autonomous University of Madrid, the University of the Basque Country and the University of Barcelona have participated. , in addition to the psychologist José Luis González, head of the Department of Coordination and Studies of the Secretary of State for Security.
"Maybe in a whole year there is no case of sexual assault with homicide in Spain," says criminologist Meritxell Pérez
The results of the study show three "clearly different" types of sexual assault. In the first profile, the author selects his victim on the public road at dusk and exerts psychological or physical violence to force it, but without using weapons. "The sexual behavior is not settled with a consummation, but the victim usually flee or shout for help," the report details.
The second profile corresponds to men who detect women in leisure areas alone and under the influence of alcohol or drugs. "The author, through deception, moves with the victim to a home or closed space and then the assault occurs, usually through vaginal penetration," the document explains. In this type of aggression, 77% of the authors are foreigners.
The third profile, finally, is located in rural settings, with aggressors who select their victims among women who practice prostitution. Almost 8% of the total victims were prostitutes, according to the report. And this percentage reaches 16% in group sexual aggressions, also characterized by a greater presence of foreign authors (69%).
Meritxell Pérez recalls that "in 80% of cases of sexual aggression the aggressor is someone known", a friend or a family member. The new report focuses on that other 20% without prior relationship between author and victim. "You have to have a lot of strength to be raped in a park and go to report. The first thing you do is go to your house to shower and you can lose tests, "he says. By different surveys, it is estimated that 70% of victims do not file a complaint, especially in cases of touching.
Giménez-Salinas calls to go to the police station without hesitation: "We must alert these women that, if not reported, the police and public resources can not do anything to protect them and are left in a vulnerable situation. be victimized again. "
In 2012, 12% of the Spanish population had a foreign nationality. However, the percentage of sexual offenders in the report born outside of Spain reaches 48%, a figure similar to that of homicides related to criminal activities. The study of the Ministry of the Interior does not address explanatory hypotheses, but the criminologist Andrea Giménez-Salinas refers to the works of Elisa García Spain, director of the criminological observatory of the criminal system before immigration. The agency defends that crime and immigration are two unrelated phenomena. "During the time that the immigrant population has grown considerably in Spain, crime has experienced a slight decrease," argues the Observatory. "Socioeconomic conditions, specifically unemployment, are a variable that explains crime better than foreign origin in the community," they say on their website.
"It has been found that in Spain, in a majority of cases, the common element in the foreign population detected as delinquent is the administrative situation of illegality and that, in the case of immigrants, a large majority is in situations or contexts of marginalization derived from that ", García España reflected in 2014 in a scientific article. "Romanians with lower educational levels initially contributed to an increase in crime rates, but as their size and composition have changed, their crime rate has fallen to be lower than that of nationals" , notes the Observatory, citing A study made by economists from the Carlos III University of Madrid.
Regarding the new report from the Ministry of the Interior, García España points out that the "greater control over this type of population" could be magnifying reality. The criminologist, from the University of Málaga, reflects on the hypothesis of the greater machismo existing in the countries of origin. "This is an explanation that is not entirely convincing, because you have to measure the machismo in different countries and see if Ecuador, Morocco and Romania are the most macho in that sense, and not others," he reasons.
"In many Latin American countries, sexual abuses and aggressions, being crimes, are more socially tolerated and the community is more concerned about it. This hypothesis also has limitations since the social tolerance to those behaviors would have to measure it between the different countries and cook the existing data in Spain to see if that explains that Ecuador, Morocco and Romania are the sources with a higher percentage of sexual delinquency ", rivets. "It is possible to simplify the idea and dismiss immigrants as violent and sexist creating unfounded xenophobic prejudices."