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Most Spaniards back new domestic violence bill

28 June 2004

MADRID — The majority of Spaniards back the government’s draft bill to crackdown on domestic violence, according to a poll published Monday.

The poll, carried out by Spanish radio station Cadena Ser, found that 54 percent of Spaniards supported the controversial bill which was heavily criticised by an influential judicial body.

The results came after a 74-year-old wheelchair bound woman became the latest victim of domestic violence after she was butchered with an axe by her husband.

The husband killed his wife with one blow of the axe to her head.

The 74-year-old was then reported to have admitted the crime to the authorities in Benicolet, a small village in Valencia in north-east Spain.

The murder took place Sunday morning, but police only released details Monday.

The husband, who was only named as Felix N.H., went to the local police to confess but by the time emergency services reached his house, his wife was dead.

It brings the number of women who have died at the hands of their husbands or partners in Spain this year to 34.

The new Socialist government has said eliminating domestic violence is one of its priorities.

Its new bill, though, was criticised by the General Judicial Council which said it was unconstitutional because it discriminated in favour of women, ignoring other victims of domestic violence like children, men, and pensioners.

The bill seeks to strengthen protection for women at risk, create a specialized judiciary, increase jail terms for offenders, improve links between the police and judiciary and start a programme of education in the schools to try to stop offenders of tomorrow.

Last week, the government ignored the criticism of the Council and said it intended to bring in the bill.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news