Thursday, September 29

The victims of the 17-A attacks suffer “continued silent suffering” 5 years later

The president of the Unit for Attention and Assessment of People Affected by Terrorism (Uavat) and forensic psychologist, Sara Bosch, explained that, five years after the attacks of August 17, 2017 in Barcelona and Cambrils (Tarragona), the victims suffer “continued silent suffering”, becoming more gray, vulnerable, insecure and accustomed to avoiding situations.

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In an interview with Europa Press, Bosch has assured that the victims “avoid traveling, going to tourist areas, shopping centers or even sitting on a terrace to minimize situations where there may be risk.”

“In moments like these, when there are anniversaries of the attack, the sensations are revived and remembered again, a moment in which those affected have anguish and insomnia. These five years, if you ask those affected how much time has passed, they will tell you that it was yesterday. Time for them froze on August 17, 2017”, she stressed.

At first, the victims or relatives of victims have psychological effects and post-traumatic stress disorders, so they need help from professionals to start “a survival mechanism and continue with their lives.”

Bosch has recommended that people with experiences of this type seek an expert trauma professional and seek advice, because it is the only way to prevent: “Above all, continue to focus on the beautiful things in life, that there are many , do not stop seeing them. This is only the opposite side of the coin, but there is also a side, and that they rely on the people who love them, that they continue to be active and that they allow themselves to be helped”.

Judgment and compensation

The criminal sentence recognizes 350 people as victims, of which 30% are represented by a private prosecution –20% by the 11-M association and 10% by other lawyers–, while the remaining 70% are only represented by the Prosecutor’s Office: “We don’t know if they know they are in the criminal sentence, perhaps no one has informed them,” Bosch said.

Bosch has argued that there are two ways to obtain compensation: the administrative route, that the only administrative authority to compensate the victims is the Ministry of the Interior, and the criminal route.

To obtain administrative compensation, procedures must be carried out through the medical unit of the General Directorate of Support for Victims of Terrorism of the Ministry, which reviews them to see the injuries and see if they derive directly from the attack: “Many times they tell them that they are not on the lists provided by the Generalitat, that they were not in the path of the van, or that they have not provided a report made on the day of the attack”.

On the other hand, by criminal means, compensation is obtained with a final judgment, although the victims will have to go through the procedure again and the medical unit will re-assess the injuries and propose an economic amount: “In the primary victimization of the attack, Secondary victimization and stones on the road are added, the feeling that the victims do not matter and that only politicking is done, ”Bosch has criticized.

He has stated that there are names and injuries in the sentence, but he has lamented: “They are not names in a sentence, they are lives. The attack comes, destroys us all, paralyzes us, but afterwards we are not afraid, we walk down the Ramblas again, life goes on. I understand that we cannot go in fear, but we have to review the protocols and do self-criticism to improve things”.