An On Christmas Eve, the thirteen-year-old was raped by six young people. The girl, who lived in a home in Mallorca, was very frightened and asked to be able to move to an institution on the Spanish mainland. She comes from difficult family relationships, was traumatized and after a few years with adoptive parents in Palma came to the regional government, which specializes in the care of minors with behavioral problems.
Her rape in Spain now drew attention to the conditions in these state homes, which apparently are not up to the task in the Balearic Islands. Although, according to their own statements, educators and social workers have repeatedly pointed out possible abuse and overwhelming homes, the authorities have only now taken action. The public prosecutor intervened and a special investigator was set up after the Mallorcan social welfare agency Imas had to admit that the thirteen-year-old was apparently not a tragic individual case in Mallorca, but that there were cases of sexual abuse among 15 girls and one boy. The public prosecutor is now investigating suspected prostitution of minors and possible drug offenses in the state Imas homes.
If you believe caregivers who have spoken in the past few days, many more children and adolescents could be affected. More and more frustrated educators are speaking to the local newspapers “Diario de Mallorca” and “Ultima Hora”. Although they had pointed this out to their superiors, nothing had happened. The situation in the homes was “completely out of control” at least three years ago. Prostitution among girls was widespread. In some facilities, almost all girls were affected – often organized or under pressure from roommates. There are talk of “dozen girls” who have run away from the facilities and, for example, turned up in the evening in Palma at the Intermodal subway station, which according to “Ultima Hora” has turned into a center for child prostitution.
Other young people who had made contact with adult clients had acted as pimps: for money, drugs and other gifts, the girls would have accompanied the clients into apartments that are well known in Palma. In one of these apartments in the Son Gotleu district, the thirteen-year-old was raped on Christmas Eve. She had fled from the home to the apartment that was said to belong to an older man.
“Organized recruitment networks”
Caregivers reported that they knew what would have happened if the girls had disappeared one night and then returned with smart shoes, branded clothing or money. Even in the case of the thirteen-year-old, it had previously been known that she would have had sexual contacts if she had not returned to her room at night.
Meanwhile, the social services agency Imas has admitted that “organized recruitment networks” exist for the prostitution of minors. So far, the prosecutor sees no network of pimps and drug dealers at work. So far, there are several “specific cases” that are being investigated, it says in a statement.
The Spanish central government also emphasizes that so far only “individual cases” have been discovered. Since 2014 there have been two dozen police campaigns in the Balearic Islands dealing with the prostitution of minors; The authorities said that it was not just about residents of state homes.
However, some of the staff in the approximately 30 children’s and youth facilities with a total of almost 400 residents on the island do not seem to be up to their task for a long time. The Balearic Minister of Social Affairs, Fina Santiago, announced that five teachers had already been dismissed for “sexual misconduct”. The four women and one man lost their jobs between 2017 and 2019. In no case, however, there were “complete sexual relationships”, the minister said. According to newspaper reports, at least one other case is known from before.