In the first three months of the year, a total of 38,018 women had made 40,509 reports of domestic or gender violence, according to findings by the Observatory of Domestic and Gender Violence, reported by El Pais on Wednesday.
The observatory, which is part of the Spanish Justice Ministry, said the number of reports was a 20.1 percent increase on the same time period last year.
The president of the observatory, Ángeles Carmona, told El Pais that she believed one reason behind the increase was the product of “the increased awareness and visibility of the problem of gender violence”.
The areas with the highest rates of domestic violence per 10,000 women were the Balearic islands, Murcia, Valencia and the Canary islands. The areas with the lowest rates of violence were Castile and León, La Rioja, and Galicia.
Seventy percent of victims were Spanish women, while 30 percent were foreign.
Seven in ten reports had been brought by the victim themselves, either directly or through statements to police. Another 15.5 percent of reports were made through direct police intervention, 10 percent were made after observations of injuries by medical services, 3 percent were made by social services or third parties, and 1.3 percent were made by family members.
Between January and March, a higher number of women also asked for protective orders – 10,690 compared to 10,434 last year. Judges granted 68 percent of these requests, which was nine points higher than 2016. And 2 percent of these orders were to protect minors.
Spanish courts also handed out 12,858 criminal sentences relating to gender violence in the first three months of the year.
“The more than 38,000 women who were victims of gender violence in the first trimester of the year… deserve unity of all forces to confront a phenomenon that stains our citizens’ coexistence,” Carmona told 20minutos.