48 women killed in 2015: The truth about domestic violence in Spain

The Local Spain
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48 women killed in 2015: The truth about domestic violence in Spain
Photo: AFP

To mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women The Local takes a look at the extent of the problem in Spain.


So far in 2015 the number of women killed by their partners amounts to 48 compared to the 54 killed last year and another 54 killed during 2013, according to figures released by Spain's Equality Ministry.

According to Spain’s Domestic and Gender Violence Observatory only nine of the 48 killed so far in 2015 had filed a complaint.Those deaths left 42 children mother-less.

Spain's 2015 campaign advert shows a victim of domestic violence and the way her neighbours offer her support with messages on the palms of their hands encouraging her to report what is going on. 

Over one million cases of domestic violence have been dealt with by the Spanish courts since 2007 and judges have handed down jail sentences to 148,000 men.

Of those cases 80 percent came about as a result of a police complaint, some 12 percent because injuries were recorded at a hospital and only eight percent after a victim or member of the victim’s family pressed charges.  

Spanish Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy met with victims of domestic violence on Wednesday and observed a minute's silence in memory of all those who have died in the past year. 

Yet 44 percent of female victims believe that the abuse they suffer at the hands of their partner is not sufficiently serious enough to warrant a police complaint, according to Isabel Lozano, the councilor for equality at in Valencia, a city where 1,294 women are living under protection orders.

Meanwhile some 21 percent of victims don’t make a police complaint because they "feel ashamed", she said.

Spain's Guardia Civil tweeted a video of one of their dogs, Lux, that is specially trained to help victims of domestic violence. 

One third of all women who sought restraining orders against men were foreigners living in Spain.

A survey revealed that 12 percent of women over the age of 16 said they had experienced physical or sexual violence from their partners and another 13 percent admitted to being afraid of their partner at some point.

The majority of men would of course say that they think domestic violence is a bad thing, as exemplified by the 86 percent of men who said so in a recent survey by the Equal Opportunities Department of Malaga council,  

And yet how many would intervene if they witnessed a friend being violent towards their wife or girlfriend?

A shocking 52 percent only of all the men questioned admitted that would actually intervene if they saw a friend abusing their partner.

It seems that even in modern Spain, the consensus view is that what goes on between a man and his wife behind closed doors is of no concern to anyone else.


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