Data for the first quarter of 2022 has changed from year to the next

Is the Sánchez government manipulating data on sexual assaults in Spain?

The crime data published by the Ministry of the Interior of Spain is a reference for many media.

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Changes in official data for 2022 highlighted by DATHOS Science

However, what happens when those data contradict each other? This Monday, DATHOS Science published a Twitter thread about data on penetrative sexual assaults in Spain . The executive director of DATHOS Science is Nicolás Rodríguez, an accredited expert in data analysis, known for his appearances on television programs such as Horizonte and Cuarto Milenio, on channel Cuatro.

DATHOS Science has focused on data on penetrative sexual assaults for the first quarter of 2023 (published in the latest Quarterly Crime Balance, see source of the Ministry of the Interior. These Data can also be consulted at the PDF version of the Balance (page 490). According to this source, in the first quarter of 2022 it indicates 984 sexual assaults with penetration and 1,021 in the first quarter of 2023. Thus, the annual variation would be 3.8%. These are the data that Antena 3 published a few days ago.

However, when going to Quarterly Crime Report for last year (see source) and request the data on sexual assaults with penetration, it turns out that a figure of 544 crimes is indicated, which means the increase it would not be 3.8%, but 87.7%. This figure of 544 crimes appears in the PDF version of the Balance published in 2022 (page 487).

The striking differences in some of the regional data

This Wednesday, DATHOS Science has focused on some specific data, which indicates very marked variations in the data published in 2022 and those published in 2023 for the first quarter of last year on penetrative sexual assaults. In some communities there are considerable differences:

  • Andalusia: from 76 to 118.
  • Castilla y León: from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m..
  • Catalonia: from 167 to 291.
  • Community of Madrid: from 51 to 131.
  • Galicia: from 17 to 39.
  • Navarra: from 12 to 21.
  • Valencian Community: from 69 to 117.
  • Basque Country: from 32 to 52.

DATHOS Science has pointed out that "the issue is serious, either because the “real” data is what it is now (increase 2022 vs 2021) or those given 1 year ago (increase 2023 vs 2022)". It should be noted that other figures published last year for the first quarter of 2022 do not coincide with those indicated for that period by this year's balance sheet. In fact, for that same quarter, the total number of crimes has gone from 550,150 (data published in 2022) to 549,298 (data published in 2023).

Between one piece of information and another, the law came into force that benefited 1,127 rapists

The difference between the published data is very significant because between one and the other, In September 2022, the sexual freedom law, also known as the "just yes means yes law", was published. Let us remember that this rule has benefited 1,127 rapists and has released 115, according to data published by the General Council of the Judiciary in June.

The question to ask now is: what are the real data for the first quarter of 2022? If they are those published last year, did the government hide hundreds of sexual assaults? And if it is the data published this year, did the government inflate the figure to indicate an increase in violations much lower than the real one?

Whatever the reason for the disparity in these figures, the government must provide an explanation. And the media does not seem willing to ask for it. Although what was published by DATHOS Science is easily verifiable, no media has echoed it, despite the seriousness of the data it analyzes.


Photo: Efe. Fernando Grande-Marlaska, Minister of the Interior, with Pedro Sánchez, President of the Government, in the Congress of Deputies.

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