Healthcare

Sexual assaults treated at the Hospital Cliníc’s A&E Department return to pre-pandemic levels

Once again, the institutional commitment of the Clinic to the recovery of the health of women victims of sexual violence is reaffirmed.

This Friday, the Hospital Clínic de Barcelona made public the figures on sexual assaults treated at the A&E Department since the beginning of the year. The presentation was given by Dr. Faust Feu, director of Quality and Clinical Safety, Dr. Lluïsa Garcia Esteve, psychiatrist and president of the Commission on Domestic and Gender –Based Violence, and Teresa Echeverría, nurse consultant and member of the Commission. The presentation was given within the context of the actions promoted to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women. The Hospital Clínic is a referral hospital for this type of assault and the implementation of a specific, transversal protocol for treating it.  Once again, this reaffirms the Hospital Clínic’s institutional commitment to treating women who are victims of sexual violence.

The data presented this Friday correspond to the period from 1 January to 31 October.  During the first half of 2022, a more extensive report will be published with the data for the whole of 2021.

The report presented at a press conference states that:

  • Since the beginning of the year, 368 people have attended the A&E Department, which is 41.5% more than in the same period last year.
  • 49.2% of the assaults were on people under the age of 25. One out of every two.
  • 65.2% of the women were raped (vaginally, anally or orally).
  • 41.5%, the majority, of the people assaulted went to the A&E Department on their own, and 25.2% of those assaulted went there accompanied by police officers.
  • 65.2% of the women were raped (vaginally, anally or orally).
  • 58% of the assaults on women took place in the home.
  • 7.78% of the women were assaulted by their partner, ex-partner or husband. Last year, the figure was 9.7%.
  • 17% of the assaults on women were committed by more than one aggressor.
  • 55% of the assaults in which chemical submission is suspected were committed against people under 25 years of age.
  • 60% of the women assaulted report their intentions to file a complaint.
  • 43% of the girls who come forward over 72 hours later were under 25. And 90% had been raped. And 21.4% had been assaulted by a group.

Cases of sexual assault that arrive at the Hospital Clínic are cared for following the ‘Hospital Clínic’s Model for the Comprehensive Treatment of Sexual Violence’. It is a health care model that involves the accident and emergency department and monitoring. An interdisciplinary team with different professionals and levels of care carries out this treatment.  The programme guarantees a victim-centred approach, offering the patient support, respect in the decisions made, and avoiding secondary revictimization.  The Hospital Clínic continues with its programme for following up infectious diseases after a sexual assault and the programme for the follow-up, prevention of and Intervention for psychological scars in sexually assaulted women.

Dr. Lluïsa Garcia Esteve, psychiatrist and president of the Commission on Domestic and Gender-Based Violence stresses that, “no matter how strange and incredible the situation of violence they have experienced, they must not be ashamed or blame themselves for anything! They must know that this knowledge of the different realities facilitates our ability to offer the most appropriate health response to their situation."

For her part, Teresa Echeverría, nurse consultant and member of the Commission on Domestic and Gender-Based Violence, says that, “we are continuing with the comprehensive model of care for sexual violence, which includes: urgent care and the programme for following up infectious diseases and the follow-up of and recovery from psychological scars.  Sexual violence causes short-, medium- and long-term illness.”

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