A new phenomenon of needle attacks on women in nightclubs, previously reported in France, the U.K., the Netherlands, and other European countries in recent months, are also happening in Spain, according to local authorities.
Spanish police have registered 50 cases so far, according to a statement made on Wednesday, with authorities continuing to look for the perpetrators.
Women in attacks in other countries have reported feeling unwell and suffering strange illnesses and side effects after being punctured by hypodermic needles inside bars and clubs.
About half of the cases reported in Spain are from Catalonia, and local authorities are urging women who have been the target of such an attack to go to the hospital where they will be examined and left for observation. Another 10 cases have been recorded in the Basque region, while in other Spanish regions, the incidence rate is significantly lower.
Politicians urged women to report any such needle attacks.
“We need to know more about this phenomenon to better fight it,” said Justice Minister Pilar Llop. According to her, women feel pushed out of nightlife venues because of the attacks. The minister also reminded people that injections can be considered bodily harm with the aggravating circumstance of gender discrimination.
The police are investigating the cases, but so far without much success. Investigators do not know the identity of the alleged perpetrators or their motives. The stabbings have not been followed by sexual violence or theft.
Authorities say that they have come across only one incident in which a drug was injected into the body of an attacked woman. This happened in the case of a 13-year-old girl who received a dose of so-called liquid ecstasy. Her parents immediately took her to the hospital. However, the police believe that in some cases, the perpetrators may have come from neighboring France, where they have already recorded 400 similar cases.