80% of sex offenders are known by the victims and have no criminal record

  • Scientific Culture and Innovation Unit
  • February 16th, 2022
Media and Sexual Violence conference at the Complutense University of Madrid, with Empar Aguado (first on the left).
Media and Sexual Violence conference at the Complutense University of Madrid, with Empar Aguado (first on the left).

A work by the group for the study of sexual violence (SEXVIOL), made up of researchers from four Spanish public universities (including the University of Valencia), has concluded that between 2016 and 2018 80% of cases of sexual violence in Spain correspond to attackers known to victims who have no criminal record.

“The investigation has analysed 178 sentences of the Madrid Provincial Court, between the years 2016 and 2018 revealing that in 80% of the cases there is some personal link between victim and aggressor, and that they are couples or ex-partners in the 17.4% of the cases”, stand out the researchers Esmeralda Ballesteros Doncel, sociologist of the Complutense University of Madrid and Empar Aguado, professor of the Department of Sociology of the UV. Both members of the SEXVIOL group. This is the study Violencia Sexual en España, informe de su incidencia mediante el análisis de fuentes estadísticas y jurídicas (‘Sexual Violence in Spain, a report on its incidence through the analysis of statistical and legal sources’), the preliminary results of which are accessible here and are derived from the I Scientific Conference on Research and Intervention on sexual violence in Spain, December 2021.

These assaults occur in homes in 60.1% of cases and do not usually involve the use of weapons (13.5%) or the use of extreme physical violence (less than 10%). “It can be claimed that sexual violence is gender violence since 95.5% of victims of sexual assault were women, while 99.4% of victims were men”, says Empar Aguado.

Likewise, this violence cannot be associated with antisocial or pathological profiles: 70.2% of the aggressors did not have a criminal record of any kind and only 1.7% of those prosecuted had registered any sexual assault in the past.

In addition, the authors of this work, in which the Complutense University of Madrid, the Carlos III University of Madrid and the University of Jaén also participate, are committed to investing in public policies that promote support services, legal advice and care specialised in victims of aggression. Likewise, Empar Aguado and Tania García in their article published in the scientific dissemination platform The Conversation, consider it essential to educate citizens in the prevention of gender violence, as “no one is free to suffer sexual violence and no one is dispensable in the work for its eradication”.

The SEXVIOL group emerged as a result of the San Fermín case in 2016 to address the reality of sexual violence in Spain from a scientific perspective. In 2017, he began an investigation focused on statistically knowing the number of sexual assaults and analysed their characteristic features based on court rulings.

Organised by the SEXVIOL group, this Wednesday, February 16, begins the Cycle of six seminars 2022 “Comprehensive Assessment of Damage Caused to People Who Have Suffered Sexual Assault: Impacts on Health and Social Autonomy” at the Faculty of Political Science and Sociology of the Complutense University of Madrid. The first one is “Sexual Assault. A panoramic look from the investigations on court sentences”.


SEXVIOL page here

Annex photo caption: Empar Aguado.