More than 1,080 women have been victims of gender violence

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SINCE cases began to be registered in 2003, there have been 1,081 women killed by their partners or former partners in Spain.

A man was arrested yesterday, Tuesday, March 3, for allegedly stabbing his ex-wife to death in Torrejon de Ardoz, Madrid, so the figure could be one higher.

The names of all those murdered by their partners or ex-partners since 2003 were read out one by one in Congress last week, when deputies from all groups except Vox commemorated the victims of sexist violence.

The deputies of PSOE, Unidas Podemos, ERC, JxCAT, PDeCAT, CUP, PNV, EH Bildu, Mas Pais, Compromis and BNG expressed their discontent with a bill promoted by Vox regarding domestic violence. The Partido Popular and Cs did not join in the reading, but they did applaud the measure and joined the rest of the parties in rejecting Vox’s proposal.

Vox prefers to speak of violence within the family, without differentiating the gender of the victims or attackers.

In the almost two decades since records have been kept of the number of women killed by their partners or former partners, the worst year was 2008, with 77 victims.

The lowest figure was seen last year, as during the pandemic, the number of deaths fell, but, the Government delegate against Gender Violence, Victoria Rosell, explained, violence has increased.

Lockdown meant that abused women and their children were in contact with their attackers all day long, which leads to “violence that does not kill but has a devastating impact on mental and physical health, because it does not mean that beatings stop.”

The Minister of Equality, Irene Montero, explained to national Spanish daily 20 minutos that “confinement increases the attacker’s sense of control and that is why murders do not necessarily increase, but other less visible forms of violence do.”

This statement is supported by the fact that reports of abuse increased in 2020, to 78,954, and April was the month with most calls to the gender violence helpline 016.

Online inquiries also shot up by 232.57 per cent compared to 2019, again with the highest number in April.

As part of the Contingency Plan introduced during the State of Alarm and to encourage reporting situations of gender violence, the possibility of making reports via WhatsApp to 016 was introduced and for now will remain in place.

Gender violence also affects children, as some 800 have been left motherless and 37 have died.


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Written by

Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.

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