Expatica news

Landmark ruling in domestic violence case

11 December 2003

BARCELONA – A husband has been ordered to pay his wife EUR 30,000 compensation for subjecting her to mental abuse for 15 years, it was reported Thursday.

In what has been hailed as a landmark ruling by a court in Barcelona, the judge said the victim had developed a syndrome associated with battered women.

Domestic violence is an important political issue in Spain, where 64 women were killed by abusive husbands this year alone.

Mariano Rajoy, president of the ruling right-wing Partido Popular and the favourite to win the elections next year, promised last month to “eradicate the plague” of domestic violence.

The court heard the wife had no physical injuries but had suffered from mental abuse which had left psychological scars.

She had been diagnosed by a forensic expert has having the syndrome of abused women.

The court heard she had become anxious, afraid, irritable and reticent.

She never reported her husband for the mental torture she suffered at his hands.

The husband had been ordered to pay EUR 30,000 to his wife in compensation.

A group of lawyers said it was a landmark ruling because it was unusual for a court to recognise this kind of abuse because, though it was long-term, it was more difficult to prove than physical damage.

In the trial, the accused claimed he had not abused his wife during their marriage.

But the court heard that for 15 years the wife had been constantly humiliated, and had been subjected to death threats and other aggression.

She never reported her husband to the police for fear of reprisals as he owned a shotgun.

Even if there was no material proof of the abuse that went on for 15 years, the judge condemned the accused for constant domestic violence.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news