Spain to use GPS to track wife beaters

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GPS tracking devices will be placed to ensure that men accused of abusing their partners comply with restraining orders.

24 November 2008
MADRID – The Spanish government agreed Friday to spend EUR 5 million on GPS tracking devices to ensure that men accused of domestic violence comply with restraining orders.

Deputy Prime Minister Maria Teresa de la Vega said the devices, which will be monitored by police after a judge orders its use, would tighten control of men with a history of violence against their partners and save lives.

"Despite the progress that has been made, a lamentable and painful reality persists, which is of women who are murdered by their partners or ex-partners," she told a news conference after a weekly cabinet meeting.

Since coming to power in 2004, the socialist government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero, a self-described feminist, has made the fight against domestic violence one of its priorities.

It has increased penalties for domestic violence, boosted funding for shelters, provided specialised training for judges, police and doctors who deal with victims and funded a public education campaign in the media and schools.

Despite these measures, 71 women were killed in Spain by their partners or former partners in 2007, up from 68 in the previous year, a record which King Juan Carlos has said "denigrate us as a society".

So far in 2008, 58 women have been killed by their partners or former partners, according to the ministry of equality.

Campaigners estimate that up to two million women are estimated to be victims of domestic violence in Spain but only about 30 percent report their aggressors to police.

[AFP / Expatica]

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