U.S. Warns of Sexual Assault Risk in Spain
This is the first news that I have heard about on this Hot Topic. I am surprised to hear about this bad behavior, and I am very glad to hear that the people are speaking out to oppose the treatment of the victims and the abuse by the Courts of Law. Did you know that in Spain, you can buy sexual assault insurance? Here is what I am discussing.
"A security alert issued by the American Embassy in Madrid also warned about the challenge of dealing with the Spanish legal system. MADRID — The United States Embassy in Madrid has warned Americans visiting Spain to take extra precautions because of “a steady increase in the number of sexual assaults” over the last five years in the country. Embassy officials said they were unaware of any similar alerts for a European nation.
The security alert, issued on Monday, came as the Spanish authorities are investigating a rape accusation filed by three American sisters against three Afghan men over events on New Year’s Eve in Murcia, in southeastern Spain. It also warned of the challenges that those who experience sexual assault face when seeking justice in the Spanish legal system.
The embassy said its alert was a response to an increase in sex attacks “against young U.S. citizen visitors and students throughout Spain.” It cited data from Spain’s interior ministry, noting that the embassy in Madrid had dealt with six reported cases of sex attacks in January, which followed from 34 such reports last year. In an interview with the Spanish newspaper ABC, Benjamin G. Ziff, the deputy chief of the United States mission in Madrid, said “the issue is not only about data of sexual attacks and harassment, but the treatment that North American citizens get after the attack.”
Spain has faced stinging criticism over its handling of several high-profile sexual assault cases in recent years, with women’s rights activists charging that the country’s judiciary is dominated by men who judge cases based on faulty ideas about issues like what constitutes consent. One of the most contentious cases came to the spotlight in 2018, when a court sentenced five men to prison for the “continuous sexual abuse” of an 18-year-old woman during the Pamplona bull-running festival, but cleared them of the more serious charge of rape, which under Spanish law must involve violence or intimidation. That verdict against the five men — who had filmed the assault using a cellphone and who dubbed themselves the “wolf pack” — was overruled in June by Spain’s Supreme Court, which found them guilty of rape and increased their prison sentences on the main charge to 15 years, from nine. Yet in October, a case involving the sexual assault of an unconscious 14-year-old girl also resulted in the conviction of five men on a charge of sexual abuse rather than rape, when that Spanish court ruled that they had not used violence.
In the interview with the Spanish newspaper, Mr. Ziff, the United States diplomat in Madrid, also cited other problems with the institutional response to sex attacks in Spain, ranging from how women were treated when reporting to a hospital to how they were questioned by police, including about the clothing they were wearing and their alcohol consumption, as well as whether they had an insurance policy to cover a possible sexual assault. In the court case involving the three American sisters who are accusing three Afghans of raping them on New Year’s Eve, the lawyer of the defendants has cited the fact that the sisters were insured against such an attack as evidence that they fabricated their rape accusations."