Complaints of sexual violence have increased by 19% during the first four months of this year in Catalonia compared to the same period in 2022, according to data presented this Tuesday by the Mossos d’Esquadra. The complaints in the first four months of the year increased to 1,247, following the trend of the previous year, when they increased by 10% as a whole compared to 2021.
The fact that there are more complaints does not automatically imply that there are more violations, but that the victims report more and the so-called ‘submerged figure’ of the crime is emerging, that is, attacks that were not reported before and are now.
“Violence is normalized and naturalized, so there is a hidden figure of between 70% and 90%,” said the spokesperson for the Mossos d’Esquadra, Montserrat Escudé, at a press conference this Tuesday with the chief of the General Police Station for Criminal Investigation, Commissioner Ramon Chacón.
Although the media focus is sometimes placed on the attacks that take place in nightlife, the data shows that 60% of the cases are produced by “perpetrators known” by the victims in environments that they consider “safe”, in Escude’s words. Only 1% of the complaints dealt with cases of chemical submission.
The police data also show that 60% of the perpetrators are known to the victim or those around them, and that in 40% of the cases the perpetrator and the victim do not know each other and “are used to touching each other,” according to those responsible. police.
The Mossos assisted 1,487 victims from January to April of this year –1,302 women and 182 men–, and Chacón has assured that the resolution rate for sexual violence is 78%: “Anyone who has suffered a sexual assault, let him know that we will very possibly catch the aggressor”.
Minors represent 38% of the total number of victims of sexual violence: 16% are between the ages of 0 and 12 and 22% are between the ages of 13 and 17.
In addition, Chacón explained that 1,000 people have been arrested and investigated related to criminal offenses against sexual freedom – 95.4% are men – and that 12.3% of those arrested are minors.