Recent research carried out by the European Institute of Studies on Prevention has revealed that night-time violence among young Spaniards is no longer a rare occurrence.
The study shows that 5.2 percent of young people carry weapons when they go out at night, 11.6 percent have been attacked or threatened, and 23 percent have got into a fight at some time.
"Reports about young people being attacked or injured in fights when they go out at night are becoming increasingly common," said Amador Calafat, lead author of the study and a researcher at the European Institute of Studies on Prevention (IREFREA).
The research analyses the phenomenon of violence among young Spaniards (under the age of 25), in particular in terms of factors related to the night-time leisure context, among a selected sample of 440 participants in the Balearic Islands, Galicia and Valencia who regularly go out at night and consume alcohol or other substances.
Of this sample, 11.6 percent had been attacked or threatened at some time. This percentage rose to 23 percent for fights. The research goes further, finding that 5.2 percent of the young people studied carry weapons when they go out at night.
"Having been threatened or hurt with a weapon was associated with having frequent arguments related to the use of alcohol and drugs", Calafat explains.
The authors state that adolescence is a risk factor itself, since young people are more prone and vulnerable to this kind of behaviour.
Some important aspects for preventing night-time violence relate to the way in which environmental conditions are managed.
These include preventing crowds from building up, using soft music when bars and clubs close and bright lights when it is time to leave.
"In order to prevent night-time violence, alcohol consumption among young people should be controlled by offering water and soft drinks at affordable prices, steering away from 'happy hour'-type alcohol offers, and strictly ensuring that alcohol is not sold to underage drinkers", the researcher concludes.
The study has been published in the latest issue of the Journal Psicothema.