In a first for Spain, an international court (the UN’s Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) has sentenced the country’s authorities to pay up for failing to stop a recurring case of violence against women.
Eleven years ago, a seven-year-old Spanish girl was murdered at the hands of her father; the man who had repeatedly beaten both her and her mother up and who police had been told about in no fewer than 30 occasions.
The murder happened during an authorized and unsupervised visit by the man, evidence according to the international committee that the relevant authorities had not done enough to protect mother and daughter nor punish the abuser.
Women’s Link Worldwide, the human rights organization that presented the case before the UN in 2012, has published the following reaction to the ruling by the murdered girl’s mother, Ángela González:
“After 11 years fighting for justice, I’m not only pleased with the ruling; it’s also an opportunity for all women and girls to not have to go through what my daughter and I did.”
The sentence forces the Spanish State to “adequately” compensate Ángela Gónzalez, who had called for protection for her daughter since she was only three years old.
The UN also ordered the legal framework surrounding cases of violence against women in Spain be strengthened and that judges and relevant professionals be trained and informed about the risks of domestic abuse.