Individual sexual violence and group sexual violence: what is it?

Talking about sexual violence can be controversial, In view of its impact on society and because of the popular belief transmitted historically on the issue.

When we hear news of a sexual assault, we automatically imagine an individual baron, with a mental disorder and a little irrelevant in society, crouching in the dark a young woman he does not know to force her sexually. somewhere hidden and we were greatly surprised to find that in the vast majority of cases this is not what happens.

    Some statistics to understand the problem

    According to a macro-survey conducted by the government in 2017, only in 18% of cases is the sexual assault perpetrated by a strangerThis means that 82% of sexual assaults are committed by people known to the victim.

    Another relevant fact highlighted by the report on multiple sexual assaults in Spain (2016-2018) is that in 98% of cases the perpetrators are men, aged between 18 and 47 years old, and the victims are women between 18 and 32 years old on average. In addition, the most common scenarios in which the assaults took place were the street and the victim’s home with the same percentage of 27%.

    It should be mentioned, however, that in sexual assaults by strangers, usually exerts greater violence against the victim on the part of the victim and the experience of this usually leads to a greater feeling of helplessness and fear for his own survival in the victim.

    How to explain the motivation of a sexual assault?

    It is difficult to profile a sexual abuser, although they can establish some common characteristics.

    They are normal looking people with average intelligence, Of all cultural, religious and economic groups, which do not necessarily have psychiatric disorders. Although they may have traits of neuroticism, introversion, immaturity, self-centeredness, and low self-esteem. But on their own, the traits exhibited would not be sufficient or decisive to commit sexual assault.

    Other factors should also be taken into account, such as poor learning of behavioral inhibition, Poor parenting models, harsh and inconsistent parenting discipline, aggressive parents and / or alcoholics, childhood physical and sexual abuse, and notable social deficits, which prevent them from forming age-appropriate relationships.

    Also, the fact of committing a crime of a sexual nature it may be preceded by emotional states of prolonged stress, sexual arousal, outbursts of anger, Alcohol abuse and moods such as depression, anxiety, anger or loneliness or the interdependence of one or more of these factors.

    Finally, it is necessary to mention two important aspects inherent in the exercise of any type of violence: a distorted thinking that can rationally justify the behavior and minimize the damage to the victim and a context or circumstances conducive to the aggression.

      What about group sexual assault?

      What has been exposed so far would help us explain sexual assaults committed by a single individual with the intention of fulfilling their sexual desires and fantasies, but … what happens in other cases ?

      Until a few years ago group sexual assault was not considered in studies and they were almost invisible to society. Since 2016, we have seen an increase in reports of collective violations, from 15 cases this year to 25 cases, between January and June 2018. Despite this increase in complaints, we still do not have data that helps us clarify why these types of assaults happen.

      According to experts, in collective rapes, a paradoxical fact occurs; most members of an abuser group would never rape on their ownIt is not necessary that the subject be psychopathic, sadistic or antisocial to be involved in such a group performance, which differentiates them and distances them from the profile of sexual abuser.

      Trying to explain this phenomenon, Dr. NG Berrill, a forensic psychologist, states that group rapes are usually perpetrated by young adults and argues that “there is something related to the typical social psychology of these groups that could contextualize violent group behaviors rather than another, they would be inexplicable. “

      Other authors, such as Dr Oliveros’ group, support the hypothesis of group influence and cohesion as an explanation for the commission of sexual assault, arguing that adolescents and young adults are at stages in life when a sense of belonging to a group, the importance of reputation and submission to the leader acquire extraordinary importance.

      Picking up Dr. Berrill argues that gang rapists are men is no accident, given that the threat of feeling rejected or censored by their peers is sufficient motivation for some young people to commit rape .

      Although the author also points to neurological underdevelopment, characteristic of this evolutionary stage. The frontal lobe, where executive functions such as the distinction between good and evil are located, is said to be still developing.

      On the other hand, all authors agree that drugs and alcohol are factors that increase the risk of group sexual assault. On the other hand, one of the most significant characteristics when performing violent behavior in a group is that responsibility for own actions is diluted and it does not fall on oneself, but on all the members.

      final

      However, arguments seem necessary to explain this type of aggression and we must ask ourselves the weight of traditional, patriarchal and sexist cultureIn the commission of such crimes, is this an attempt to prove male superiority? An attempt to overpower the woman? Experts in gender violence defend this hypothesis, however, we are faced with a phenomenon that is difficult to explain.

      Bibliographical references:

      • Alarcón, T. (2017). Madrid. Europapress: Sexual violence in Spain. From statistical silence to noise in the streets. Retrieved from: http://europapress.es
      • Atencio, G. (2016-2018). Sexual geoviolence. Multiple sexual assaults in Spain. Retrieved from htt: //geoviolenciasexual.com
      • Castro, M .; Lopez, A .; Sueiro, I. (2009). Psychopathological profile of sexual aggressors. Notebooks of psychosomatic medicine and psychiatry. Retrieved from: http://editorialmedica.com
      • Garsa, J .; Diaz-Michel, I. (1996). Elements for the study of sexual rape. Retrieved from http://www.scielosp.org
      • Oliveros, S. (2018). Dr. Oliveros Group. Herd rapists: group dynamics and clinical characteristics. Retrieved from http://www.grupodoctoroliveros.com
      • WHO. (2013). Understanding and combating violence against women. Retrieved from: http://apps.who.int
      • Ramirez, C. (2018). Hufftingtonpost. The other herds: complaints of group sexual assault are triggered in 2018. Retrieved from: http://www.hufftingtonpost.es
      • The US Department of Justice. NSOPW. Be aware of sexual abuse. Facts and Statistics. Retrieved from http://www.nsopw.gov
      • Tourjée, D. (2016). What drives some young people to group rape? Retrieved from http://www.vice.com

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