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Sexual Assaults Have Increased In Spain, U.S. Embassy Warns Visitors

By Parker Diakite

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The United States Embassy is warning Americans visiting Spain to take safety cautions amidst an uptick in sexual assaults.

“The U.S. Embassy and Consulate General urge U.S. citizen students and visitors to take precautions against sexual assault during their stay in Spain,” the alert reads.

According to the alert, the Spanish Ministry of Interior has reported a steady increase in sexual assaults of young U.S. citizens and students visiting Spain over the past five years.

The alert comes just over a month after Spanish authorities arrested three men on suspicion that they sexually assaulted three sisters from Ohio on New Year’s Eve in Murcia, a city in southeast Spain, according to USA Today. The men were students as was one of the women.

The U.S. Embassy is also warning citizens that victims of sexual assault in Spain can find it very difficult to navigate the local criminal justice system, which differs significantly from the U.S. system.  

The embassy is urging visitors to take the following precautions against sexual assault during their stay in Spain:

Drink responsibly.  Do not consume beverages that have been out of your control.

Use the buddy system, and travel with a friend or a family member.

If you have been sexually assaulted, call 112 immediately.  Also, consider contacting a local attorney to help you navigate the criminal justice process and protect your rights.  

The Embassy and Consulate General maintain a list of English-speaking attorneys.  For more information on what to expect, visit its website.

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