Fresh move against domestic violence
5 March 2004
MADRID – The Spanish government set up Friday a new register to counter domestic violence.
The register will list all the convicted attackers as well as protection orders and the women who have been victims.
José María Michavila, Justice Minister, promised that the register would be “a useful and efficient body for the police and the justice system” to control aggressors.
Michavila added that the register would be “one more step” in the eradication of violence in the home.
Domestic violence is an important policial issue in Spain, a country famous for its “macho” culture.
Deaths of women from domestic violence rose by 30 percent in 2003, despite the high-profile of the issue and tougher legal measures to stop victims being targeted.
Sixty-eight women were killed by their partners last year – an increase from 52 the year before.
Women were not the only victims – 13 men died at the hands of their wives or partners in 2003.
Andalusia continued to head the death toll with 15 female and four male victims.
The register, which is to start immediately, is to unite all the judicial bodies which are involved in domestic violence cases, making it easier for alleged abusers to be caught.
Michavila said: “We are not going to treat this as a public register of aggressors but as a useful and efficient tool to catch attackers.”
In October, a new scheme will be introduced giving victims panic buttons to press if they are being targeted.
New protection orders were brought in last August, which led to a rise in the number of cases going through the courts.
Between August and October, 2,300 women requested protection orders.
Despite the rise in the number of fatalities linked to domestic violence in Spain, the country ranked near the bottom of a table abuse rates in European countries.
Top of the list were Scandinavian countries with Finland showing 8.65 deaths per million of population. Spain had 2.44 deaths per million.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news