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App Launched to Stop Assaults at This Famous Festival

People taking part in an encierro, or bull run, in Pamplona
People taking part in an encierro, or bull run, in Pamplona | © Asier Solana Bermejo / Flickr
One of Spain’s most famous festivals – the running of the bulls in Pamplona – is stepping up security this year after a serious sexual assault case hit the headlines. Here’s everything you need to know about the app making the news.

Police in Pamplona have launched an app to make reporting assault easier during this year’s famous running of the bulls festival, which kicks off on Friday, July 6.

The festival has been in the headlines after the trial of La Manada (‘The Wolfpack’) earlier this year. The group of five men, who named themselves The Wolfpack in their WhatsApp group, were in April acquitted of rape but jailed for nine years for sexual abuse for an attack on a woman at Pamplona in 2016.

A bull run during Pamplona's San Fermín festival © Johnbojaen / WikiCommons

In June, they were released on bail pending an appeal, provoking widespread protests across Spain.

The San Fermín festival attracts revellers from across the world to watch the bull runs, bullfights and take part in the party atmosphere that sweeps through Pamplona during the week-long festival.

This year, city authorities are taking extra measures to make sure everyone feels safe.

People taking part in an encierro, or bull run, in Pamplona © Asier Solana Bermejo / Flickr

The app

The EraStop/AgreStop app, which can be downloaded straight onto a smartphone, uses geolocation to enable police to find anyone sending out a distress signal.

The EraStop/AgreStop app to report sexual assaults at Pamplona © EraStop/AgreStop

Users can download the app on iTunes or Google for free and, with one tap, can summon the police if they find themselves in an uncomfortable or dangerous situation.

There are three buttons:

‘I am being assaulted’ – immediately connects the user with the police, sending them their location.

‘Report an assault’ – can be used by anyone who is witnessing an assault and puts them straight through to police.

‘Keep me company’ – sends a message to the user’s friends that allows them to track their location, making sure they make it back to their accommodation safely.

The app was launched on Wednesday, July 4, by Pamplona’s councillor for Citizenship and Coexistence, Itziar Gómez.

“In a stressful situation, you can’t be explaining where you are, who you are and what’s happening”, Gómez said.