What has happened?
On monday, the 9th December, two girls were raped in a flat in the first floor in Carrer d’Hospital at around half past eight. One of these girls was able to escape through the window and broke her both wrists as a result of the fall. Luckily, on her escape she met the local police on their patrol to tell them what happened. The Mossos d’Esquadra, the Catalan police, could arrest on suspect on the same night and the other one on Tuesday afternoon. Afterwards, they were waiting for their process which was planned a few hours later.
What many thought, was that was a sexual assault done in a group, but actually the rapes have occurred parallel in the same house. According to the police, one was under and the other over 18 years.
What was the reaction of the people after hearing this?
On Wednesday, the 11th December at lunchtime, the inhabitants gathered themselves together at the Plaça Major to draw attention that such a behavior cannot be accepted and that women want to be free and live.
In my workplace, a representative of the city hall, my colleagues paid a visit in order to recommend us to go to the second “demonstration“, organized by the feminist committee of vaga, at the evening and to propose an act to show that not every moroccan, of which there are many in the youth center, is a rapist, as one of the suspect had an moroccan background. After getting the news, the teenagers were really creative and willing to distinguish themselves from the rapist and to teach the inhabitants about the reality.
Therefore, the youth center was closed at 7 pm to be at “demonstration“, with the slogan “Li ens toquen a una, respondem totes“ (= If touch one, all respond), at the Plaça Major on time with the teenagers. After 7 pm, there were more and more, mostly women, coming together and discussing about the recent incident. 25 min later after the actual beginning, a representative of the feminist committee was holding a short speech for about five minutes and that was it. For me, my colleagues and the kids, it was very disappointing as we expected a huge demonstration like the ones for the liberation of the Catalan politician.
Will be changes seen after this?
Honestly, I don’t know if this was an effective way to fight against sexual violence as this is a big topic here in Manresa and Catalunya itself. It is visible by all the offered workshop about violence against gender or about self - defense for example. Also the day 25N, the 25th November, international day of violence against gender was arranged quite big in my youth center with different activities as a survey, an interactive game named TABÚ or the drawing at the Plaça Gispert. But however, the cases of sexual assaults haven’t been really declined despite these actions, activities and the Catalan governmental support to draw more attention to this kind of violence.