#Cuéntalo: Spanish women launch their own #Metoo movement

Fiona Govan
Fiona Govan - [email protected]
#Cuéntalo: Spanish women launch their own #Metoo movement
People shout slogans during a protest in Pamplona on April 28th. Photo: AFP

Spain is experiencing its very own #metoo moment as women across the nation flood social media with accounts of rape in protest at the controversial verdict in Pamplona last week.


Tens of thousands of women in Spain have shared their experience of rape, some on behalf of women who were murdered during the attack to protest against the acquittal of five men accused of gang raping an 18-year-old woman at the city's bull-running festival.

The men were acquitted of sexual assault, which includes rape, and sentenced to nine years for the lesser offence of sexual abuse.

The movement comes months after women across the globe came forward to share sexual abuse experiences with the hashtag #Metoo in the wake of revelations about Harvey Weinstein.


A woman shouts slogans during a demonstration in Madrid on April 26. Photo: Gabriel Bouys/AFP

In the days following the verdict, huge demonstrations have taken place in towns and cities across Spain, rallying under the slogan "it's not sexual abuse, it's rape". 

The outrage has led Spain’s conservative government to say it will consider changing rape laws.

Among the most powerful tweets with the #Cuéntalo hashtags were the stories of those victims who cannot speak for themselves.

"I am 22 and have a slight psychological disability. 4 men kidnap me and rape me repeatedly. Not happy with that, they run me over 7 times. Still alive, they throw petrol on me and set me on fire. 3 of my murderers are free. I am telling this story because Sandra Palo cannot. #Cuéntalo".

"My husband abuses me. I ask for a divorce. The sentence obliges me to live on the second floor of my attacker's house. I tell my story on TV. He gets annoyed because I report it, he comes round, ties me to a chair and burns me alive. I am telling you because Ana Orantes cannot. #Cuéntalo".

"Gabriela was a really happy girl with lots of friends, until the day she went out with her schoolmates and they all drugged her, raped her, filmed it and shared the video. She reported it but no one believed her. I'm telling you because she committed suicide. #Cuéntalo".

Others highlighted the unfairness of the justice system.

"A teacher raped me for two years, manipulating and blackmailing me. He was sentenced to 6 years in prison, served 3 for good behavior. I have spent almost 14 in psychiatric treatment #Cuéntalo."

While others just recounted daily fears faced by women.

“On the way home alone at night. Looking over your shoulder again and again. Head down when you come across someone. Act like your talking on the phone. Walk briskly. Get the keys ready to open the door as fast as possible. Breathe as the door closes behind you. #Cuéntalo"

READ ALSO: #MeToo: Dozens come forward with stories of sexual assault by Spanish tour guide


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