20 Mar, 2024 @ 15:32
1 min read

Quarter of girls aged 14 to 17 were victims of sexual assault or harassment in Spain last year, shocking figures show

Gender violence surges in Spain: Number of young victims increased by 32% last year, figures show

ONE in four girls in Spain aged 14 to 17 says they have been a victim of sexual assault or harassment in the last year, according to a University of Barcelona report published on Wednesday.

In the case of boys, the figure is 11.2%, meaning that 18% of adolescents in the age group have been impacted.

Teenagers have experienced unwanted conversations or requests of a sexual nature through the internet via phone apps, touching, penetration, oral sex and even sexual exploitation.

The University of Barcelona surveyed 4,024 minors at 70 schools.

Team director, Noemi Pereda, said: “This is the first study carried out in the country with a representative sample on this subject.”

“Online violence is the most prevalent (12.1%), followed by violence with physical contact(9.9%),” she added.

Females suffer more violence than boys in almost all the categories, but Pereda warns that children have reported some very serious incidents with sexual exploitation affecting 2.6% of young people.

“The main source of trouble is electronically via phones and the internet which didn’t exist in the 1990s.”

“And there is violence on the part of adults, but much more on the part of children’s peers meaning that we have a social problem.”

“How is it possible that most sexual violence is perpetrated by partners or young people of a similar age to the victim?” asked Pereda.

She points to easy access of pornography at a young age which prevents youngsters knowing what a proper consensual relationship is.

Pereda expanded: “By adolescence, parents have already fulfilled their role and developmental studies how that peers and social media, whether it’s the internet, television, or music, are much more important. We should know what is being transmitted to young people.”

The report led by Pereda, and funded by the La Caixa Foundation with the support of the Ministry of Social Rights, has studied 14 variables and in practically all cases, girls exceed figures for boys.

They are almost twice as likely to experience sexual violence with physical contact (12.6% vs. 6.6%), from touching to penetration or oral sex, by both adults and other children.

Manuel Eisner, director of the Institute of Criminology and the Centre for Research on Violence at the University of Cambridge, says the rates reported by Spain are ‘similar’ to those found in other parts of Europe.

“In research in Switzerland, we found that adolescent girls are at least 10 times more likely than boys to experience sexual violence with serious threats or violence equivalent to rape,” said Eisner.

Previous Story

One of Europe’s oldest ‘most wanted’ fugitives is arrested outside his luxury villa on Spain’s Costa Blanca

Next Story

Tennis tragedy: Spain’s Paula Badosa must battle against ‘best friend’ Aryna Sabalenka – who lost her boyfriend to suicide this week

Latest from Barcelona

Go toTop

More From The Olive Press