The urgencies of Barcelona attend a sexual assault every day | Society

The urgencies of Barcelona attend a sexual assault every day | Society

The victims of sexual assault in Barcelona they are counted by hundreds per year. One a day, at least. That is the average that reaches the emergency services of the Hospital Clínic, reference center in the Catalan capital to attend these cases. Any suspicion of sexual assault that any health center in the city receives is referred to the Clínic, which has a specialized unit to provide comprehensive care to the victims. So far this year (until October 31), they have already attended to 351 cases and the tendency is that they will close in 2018 with about 400 people - the vast majority of women- visited in this unit. It is twice the number registered in 2005, when this service was launched.

"The cases treated have increased disproportionately.It is a very serious problem.These aggressions make people sick", said Antoni Castells, medical director of the Clinic. According to the data that the center manages and that x-ray the profile of the sexual aggressions in the city, 91% are women. In 100% of the cases, however, the aggressor is a man.

The aggressions recorded this year point to 62% of the victims being under 25 years of age and even, since last May the Department of Health of the Generalitat ordered the center to also centralize the cases of underage victims, the Hospital Clínic has served 12 women under 18 years of age.

According to the clinical indicators analyzed in each of the victims, the doctors of the Barcelona hospital calculate that there are suspicions of chemical submission in one out of four cases. This means that "a chemical substance that affects the central nervous system facilitates this aggression," says Dr. Lluïsa García, a psychiatrist and president of the Commission on Domestic Violence and Gender of the hospital. What doctors can not clarify is whether the use of this substance was voluntary - the victim took some type of drug and the aggressor took advantage of its vulnerability to be under the effects of these substances - or involuntary - the aggressor deliberately intoxicates to the victim to attack her. The figure of 25% of suspected cases of chemical submission, García said, coincides with the prevalence registered in other countries.

The center's protocol includes tests to detect the presence of toxins in blood and urine. About 60% of female victims and 53% of men attacked in the unit reported having consumed alcohol or other drugs. However, Garcia clarified, the presence of the burundanga, known in the collective imagination as the "drug of rape", has not been detected. Between 2013 and 2016, 1,000 samples were analyzed and no burundanga was found in blood or urine. We can not say that there is but that there is not, because that substance is eliminated very quickly from the organism, "he said in a study by the National Institute of Toxicology and Forensic Sciences, in Madrid, analyzed some 152 suspected cases between 2010 and 2013 and never found any trace of this substance.

Comprehensive approach

The specialized unit of the hospital in Barcelona has a specific action protocol and a multidisciplinary team specially trained to care for the victims. To begin with, in the same emergency door they have a separate box, to give more privacy and security to the victim. As soon as a person who reports having suffered a sexual assault enters, the protocol is set in motion and a nurse, who will accompany the victim permanently, will be in charge of coordinating the device.

The professionals of Social Work and several medical disciplines - from gynecology to infectious - start up and the center activates the alert to the Court of Guardia to notify the forensic doctor. The medical team, trained specifically to deal with these cases, will perform a physical and psychological examination to the victim and a follow-up of six months in the case of the infectious service and a one-year follow-up. Address possible psychic injuries.

The center also facilitates the efforts of the victim if he wants to report the case. This year, 63% did so, a figure that has been decreasing since 2014 (reported 72.8% of the 250 cases attended).


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