Spanish government launches strategic plan to combat gender violence

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Spanish government launches strategic plan to combat gender violence
Spain creates plan against sexual violence. Photo: Thomas COEX / AFP

The Spanish government has launched a multi-faceted plan to combat sexual violence that seeks to bolster police training but also improve victim care and coordination between professionals.


Spain's Interior Ministry this week launched a major plan to try and combat gender violence in the country. The Strategic Plan for the Prevention of Sexual Violence 2023-2027, the first programme of its kind approved by the European Union, will provide funding and new training for police, as well as new technological methods to both prevent sexual violence and provide improved aftercare for victims.

According to Spain's National Institute of Statistics (INE), the number of female victims of gender-based violence increased by 8.3 percent in 2022, up to 32,644. The rate of victims of gender violence was 1.5 per 1,000 women aged 14 and over. However, the number of victims of domestic violence decreased by 1.1 percent.

Announced by the Secretary of State for Security, Rafael Ruiz, one of the main aims of the strategic plan is the creation of the System of Registration, Monitoring and Prevention of Sexual Crimes (VioSex), something that will help integrate police databases and facilitate interaction between law enforcement and institutions, especially prison services. Computer software will be used to help crime prevention based on intelligence and analysis of sexual violence cases.

Specialist search engines will also be used to identify patterns and trends of similar crimes that occur in certain geographical environments or with similar modus operandi.

The plan also includes the creation of the National Office Against Sexual Violence, the coordination and monitoring body that will promote and uphold the wide-ranging measures included in the new strategy.

In total, the budget for the plan is almost €1.5 million, and is anchored around six major objectives that encompass 59 different measures designed to respond to the challenges presented by sexual violence in Spain.

€520,000 will go to the creation of the National Office Against Sexual Violence and another €400,000 to launch the VioSex System.

The rest of the budget will be invested to help open up channels of cooperation between Spanish police and security forces and other relevant institutions and agencies, as well as training police specialists and on developing scientific research on sexual crimes.


Scientific research activities will be done partly in collaboration with universities and will work with organisations to provide technical and statistical reports on different aspects of sexual violence to help create a fuller picture of the crime phenomenon. 

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Victim support

A key pillar of the strategic plan is to promote the scope and use of support and assistance services for victims of sexual crimes.

Joint training and awareness programmes for professionals from various sectors and industries and specialties (including medicine, psychology, law, social work, and security services) involved in the care of sexual crime victims will be launched, especially aimed at vulnerable groups.


Police training

The National Office Against Sexual Violence will also oversee the periodic review and improvement of specific sexual crime-related training plans and refresher courses for police officers and other security professionals, and train them to help care for victims.

To achieve this, specialised training programs catered to different types of crimes and the profile of victims depending on age, background or special needs of the victims, will be implemented, in addition to training on combatting newer realities such as sexual cyberviolence.


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