US embassy issues security alert over increase in sexual assaults in Spain

THE United States Embassy in Madrid have issued a security alert on its webpage warning US citizens on an increase in sexual assaults in Spain.

It is reported that the alert has been issued in response to recent alleged rapes and assaults, where the embassy advises those travelling to the country to take precautions during their stay, including drinking responsibly and not embarking on a solo trip.

Part of the statement states:

“The Spanish Ministry of Interior reports a steady increase in the number of sexual assaults nationally over the past five years. This includes a rise in sexual assault against young US citizen visitors and students throughout Spain.

“US citizen victims of sexual assault in Spain can find it very difficult to navigate the local criminal justice system, which differs significantly from the US system.

“The US Embassy and Consulate General urge US citizen students and visitors to take precautions against sexual assault during their stay in Spain.”

The alert comes just over a month that Spanish authorities arrested three Afghan men on suspicion of sexually assaulting three sisters from Ohio on New Year’s Eve in Murcia.

Currently, the US Department of State rates Spain as a level 2 on its travel advisory scale, which means that visitors should “exercise increased caution” due to terrorism. The advisory, updated in October, also warned citizens to be careful in Barcelona and Catalonia due to civil unrest.

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Written by

Isha Sesay