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Tough jail termsfor wife beaters

Published on 04/06/2004

4 June 2004

MADRID – The Spanish government approved Friday a crackdown on domestic violence with better protection for victims and tougher jail terms for attackers.

Jesús Caldera, Minister of Employment and Social Affairs, said the government will create new courts and an special attorney general to deal with these cases.

Tougher jail terms for those found guilty of this crime will be brought in, with maximum sentences of up to five years.

And more cash will be provided to give support to victims.

Violent husbands or partners will have to go on rehabilitation courses when they come out of prison.

Victims will be found work to give them some way of escaping from abusive partners.

And special police units are to be formed to deal with this problem.

In Spain, one woman dies every week from domestic violence.

So far this year, at least 31 women have been killed by husbands or partners.

The Socialists have promised to eradicate the “plague” of domestic violence with tough new measures.

The new programme announced Friday will go before a number of state departments before it reaches parliament and becomes law.

But among the measures, victims will have greater access to “safe houses”.

Companies will also be granted cash benefits for helping victims with jobs.

A special government department will also be created to deal specifically with domestic violence.

Juan Fernando López Aguilar, the Justice Minister, said Friday that the future law “will consider all those forms of threats, injuries and violence against women”.

He said the government together with society will form a “panoply of fronts” to combat what is “absolute wrong” which “we cannot live with”. 

In Barcelona this week, the Catalonian attorney general said there had been a number of false claims by women of alleged abuse.

Asked about this, López Aguilar said it was possible to discover false allegations but the “priority” was to protect women.

[Copyright EFE with Expatica]

Subject: Spanish news