Police get help to stop domestic violence
5 May 2004
MADRID – The Spanish government is set to approve a series of measures to crack down on domestic violence, the new Secretary for Political Equality said Wednesday.
Soledad Murillo said suspending custody of children or stopping visits to any offspring were some of the measures that will be approved on Friday.
Persistent offenders could also be taken into custody if they break protection orders.
Murillo did not want disclose all the measures which will be brought in but she insisted: “They will offer total support to the police and of course we want to stop aggressors getting closer to their victims.”
Electronic tagging of offenders and 24-hour protection of the most vulnerable victims are being considered as possible measures to stop domestic violence which has claimed 19 lives already this year.
Meanwhile, a study published Wednesday showed less than five percent of those who abuse their partners have psychological problems.
The rest have either personality problems or abuse alcohol or drugs.
Psychiatrists Carlos Fuertes and José Cabrera also criticised the stigma which surrounds mentally ill people who attack their wives, girlfriends – or in some cases, boyfriends or husbands.
Cabrera said “no more than 5 percent of those who attack their partners have serious psychological problems”.
Among this small proportion, offenders can suffer from schizophrenia and depression, which might cause partners to lash out at the people they live with.
“Of the 1,000 murders (through domestic violence) that they commit in Spain every year, only five percent are caused by this type of mental illness,” said Cabrera.
But judge Martínez Arrieta, who joined the psychiatrists at the presentation of their report Wednesday, claimed many sentences for domestic violence were “too benign”.
He said there have been six changes in the law since 1989 but none had been specific enough to deal with this problem.
In the latest murder, a woman and her two children died in a house fire started by her ex-partner on 29 April.
[Copyright EFE with Expatica]
Subject: Spanish news