More municipal resources to combat sexist violence towards women

In an effort to achieve a city free of sexist violence, 2019 brought the government measure “Building alliances: Barcelona free of sexist violence towards women”, a roadmap to serve until 2023 and strengthen services and resources to combat violence towards women. In the last year, progress has centred on care services for women and children, city agreements, police corps and protocols to prevent sexist violence in nightlife spots.

24/11/2022 15:25 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

Expansion of the SARA

The Care, Recovery and Reception Service (SARA) is one of the key municipal resources providing assistance and support for women and children who suffer gender violence. With 976 women attended to (1,600 including minors and families), the expansion of the SARA enables the service to increase its capacity with a second facility, due to come into operation early in 2024. This will see the SARS 1 provide service for the districts of Nou Barris, Horta-Guinardó, Sant Andreu and Sant Martí, while the SARA 2 will be in new premises in L’Eixample and attend to people in the other six districts: Ciutat Vella, L’Eixample, Sants-Montjuïc, Les Corts, Sarrià – Sant Gervasi and Gràcia.

There are also plans for a specific unit providing assistance in cases of sexual violence, housed in the same facility as the new SARA in L’Eixample. The unit will help provide more effective and specialised support for people who suffer this type of severe violence.

The government measure to combat male violence towards women also includes additional places in shelter for women and minors who suffer sexist violence. The city currently has 300 emergency and long-term places and during the course of the year another 58 will be added, a number which may rise to 92 in the next two years. This year, in the period up to September, 349 places in shelter were occupied by women who have suffered gender violence.

Improvements to PIADs

Besides the SARA, BCN Antimasclista services operate another important facility in the form of the Women’s Information and Support Points (PIAD), present in all the city’s districts. The points offer information and advice on labour and legal matters, plus psychological support and specific activities to strengthen women’s support networks. With 2,708 women attended to in 2022 and action taken on 8,796 occasions, the PIADs have become a service with a broad territorial scope. In the last year, improvements have been made to the premises where these services operate from and a new organisational model rolled out to boost their growth.

Measures by the City Police to prevent and act against sexist violence:

In a bid to improve detection and act in cases of gender violence, the City Police have launched new measures over the last year, such as:

  • A guide to indicators of gender violence for patrols.
  • Operational procedure for calls concerning cases of gender violence.
  • Reference figure for gender violence in each district, providing specific follow-up for cases.
  • Specialised training for command positions and selection of reference figures for gender violence cases in each district.
  • Creation of safe routes, with monitoring patrols in four night-life areas in the city: the Seafront, Poblenou, Paral·lel and Gràcia/Sarrià – Sant Gervasi.

In addition, the signing of a new collaboration agreement with the Catalan police corps, the Mossos d’Esquadra, will bring greater coordination between the two corps to improve support for women who suffer gender violence. Another change means that from now on the City Police can also handle reports from women denouncing gender violence from their partner, previously only handled by the Mossos.

Alliances for a Barcelona free of sexist violence towards women

The structural nature of gender violence means all city stakeholders need to be involved in combatting it in all spheres. In recent years, the city has equipped itself with various protocols and programmes aimed at key groups and sectors:

Examples include:

  • The protocol “We won’t keep quiet” to prevent and act against sexist violence in night-life spots. Following the halt caused by the pandemic, the agreement has just been renewed with 39 music venues, festivals and facilities.
  • Purple points at local festivals in the city to carry out prevention work through teams specialising in dealing with cases of aggression and harassment which might occur in public spaces. A total of 96 points have been set up in 2022, acting on 9,534 occasions to provide awareness, information and prevention.
  • Citizen agreement for a Barcelona free of sexist violence towards women: at present, 804 organisations form part of the citizen commitment to combat gender violence. The initiative has provided funding for 54 projects in 2022, with an overall investment of 324,440 euros.
  • Network of Schools for Equality and Diversity: 80 centres have joined this network which promotes sexual and affective education according to the values of equality, equity and respect. Over 30,000 students in infants, primary and secondary schooling have taken part in these activities.
  • Prevention of sexism and gender violence through InfoJove: over 4,700 teenagers and young people have taken part in one of more of the awareness activities organised by the service.
  • Sport without sexism: the last year has seen the presentation of the “Sport and Gender” guide and the “Protocol for prevention, detection and action against sexual violence in sports activities, with the goal of guaranteeing sport free of sexism.

Plural masculinities centre

Opened 2021, the Plural masculinities centre offers a single facility for services aimed at men and linked to new models for masculinity and respectful relationships. With its own programme and a team which is also specialised in the detection and prevention of sexist violence, the centre has firmed up its position as a model space in the strategy to promote a city free of gender violence.


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