Helpline for abused women flooded after bloodiest day

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Calls to a special telephone number for abused women quadrupled last Wednesday, a day after four women were brutally murdered at the hands of their partners and ex-husbands.

4 March 2008

MADRID - Calls to a special telephone number for abused women quadrupled last Wednesday, a day after four women were brutally murdered at the hands of their partners and ex-husbands, a government official in charge of the service said Monday.

Encarnación Orozco, the government's special delegate for fighting violence against women, said the total number of calls reached 3,600 when the average on a normal day is 700. She attributed the increase to the "fear" and in some cases "absolute terror" women suffering from domestic violence felt when they learnt of the women being killed.

Worst day on record

With four deaths, last Tuesday was the bloodiest day on record in Spain's long fight against gender violence.

"The news of the four deaths terrified victims," Orozco said.

She noted that the 016 number, which was set up by the government six months ago, offers legal and psychological support to victims but is not an emergency number for women who have been abused or assaulted.

Since the creation of the service, it has received 85,000 calls.

[Copyright EL PAÍS 2008]

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