Expatica news

New law on violence ‘not enough’

14 May 2004

TARRAGONA – Only one in ten victims of domestic violence report they have been attacked, a psychologist claimed Friday.

Eugeni Salazar, president of the Professional Association of Psychologists in Tarragona (COPC), said domestic violence is one of today’s main social scourges.

But despite this, only 10 percent of victims report their attackers to police.

Salazar told a conference in Tarragona in north-east Spain that domestic violence is responsible for one woman dying every week in Spain, although many of the victims have reported their attacker on several occasions.

According to official figures, 52 women were killed by their husbands in 2002; 70 in 2003, and 34 to date this year.

But this is nothing new in Spain. Until the mid 80s, domestic violence was kept hidden in private due to family and religious influences.

Now it is in the public eye. Battered women must be helped without making them feel either guilty or victimised, Salazar claimed.

He said guilt or shame felt after “low-key” violence, such as moral or psychological violence, is one of the reasons why only 10 percent of the cases are reported.

In Spain, the ministry of Social Affairs conducted a survey among 20,000 adult women.

It found 4 percent had suffered some form of domestic violence.

According to Salazar, the Law against Domestic Violence being drawn up by the the new Socialist government must be “an instrument of protection and prevention, but it is not enough because more resources are still needed”.

The conference, organised by the COPC, discussed how to apply laws, the management of resources and other private and professional associations that deal with domestic violence.

Psychologists, psychiatrists, lawyers, journalists and social workers discussed the ‘psycho-biology of violence’, psychological profiles of male abusers and female victims, violence in the media and psycho-social contributions.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news