Sexual assault charges on rise at Spain’s campuses

Madrid's Complutense has suspended a professor pending investigation of sexual assault. Photo: Cadena Ser
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• Professor suspended at Complutense over complaints by six graduate students
• Allegations of cover-ups in Barcelona, Sevilla amid general climate of impunity

As allegations of university administration cover-ups to shield professors from sexual assault investigations in Sevilla and Barcelona have surfaced in the Spanish press, separately Madrid’s prestigious Complutense university (Universidad Complutense de Madrid, or UCM) has announced the suspension of one of its professors pending the outcome of an investigation into sexual assault charges.

The National daily El País reported on Sunday that administrators at the Universidad de Sevilla Santiago Romero have been charged with covering up a spate of at least 14 sexual harassment incidents in 2014 involving one of its professors, while the Universidad de Barcelona has likewise said to have covered up sexual harassment cases in 2011 involving a professor on its Sociology faculty.

At the Complutense, complaints filed with the university’s office for equality by six Latin American graduate students against a professor in the Master’s program at the university have led to his suspension pending investigation by the administration.

According to the El País report, cases of sexual assault or harassment have a history of going unpunished in universities across Spain. A recently released survey of university students across Spain shows nearly two-thirds (62 percent) say they have either suffered sexual assault or personally know someone who has been victimized by sexual assault in their university.

► Read More in Spanish at El País, El Mundo and Cadena Ser …

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