MADRID – Spain has seen a worrying increase in the number of women killed by gender-based violence in 2023 compared to 2022. This is the highest number since 2019 and indicative of a worrying trend.
On October 2, the number of women killed by gender violence was 50. That is 16 more victims than on the same date a year ago. Teresa Peramato, Chief Prosecutor for Gender Violence, emphasises the need for more judicial staff to be more proactive in their approach. When a woman does not apply for a protection order, but a risk is identified, prosecutors should continue to apply for the necessary measures to protect her.
Self-reflection needed from failing institutions
Victoria Rosell, the former Government Delegate for Gender Violence, recognises the difficulty and importance of investigating institutional shortcomings. She states that despite Spain leading the international efforts against gender violence and for equality, the number of victims of gender-based violence is still too high.
Denial of gender violence in the public sphere
Marisa Soleto, director of the Women Foundation, points out the harmful influence of denial of gender violence in the public sphere. Women who find themselves in questionable social or family circumstances may therefore hesitate longer to seek help. This puts them at greater risk or causes help to arrive too late.
Youth and gender violence
There is an increase in normalising dialogues about gender violence among youth and adolescents. These dialogues, often heard in political circles and from internet personalities, influence their attitudes and understanding of the problem.
Elisa García Mingo, professor of sociology, has found that many teenagers socialise in misogynistic online spaces, where misogyny and trivialisation of gender violence are prevalent.
One in four young men (23.1%) in Spain believe that gender violence “does not exist or is an ideological invention”, a percentage that has increased eleven points compared to 2019, when 12% thought so. This is evident from a study by the FAD Youth Foundation. Moreover, 87% of young people indicated that they recognised a situation of violence by men against women in their immediate environment.
A survivor’s story
Rosalía is a survivor of gender violence. She was abused by her husband for almost 30 years and in the RTVE.es article she calls on women in dangerous situations to seek help and be resilient. She highlights the deadly nature of gender violence and is now a volunteer at the Fundación Ana Bella.
Helplines for victims
In Spain there is a special helpline for victims of gender violence, the number 016, which is available 24 hours a day and in 53 languages. There is also a WhatsApp service on the number (+34) 600 000 016 and a special helpline for minors through the Fundación ANAR on 900 20 20 10. In case of emergency, victims can call the police (091), the Guardia Civil (062 ), or call the emergency number 112. There is also an app, ALERTCOPS, for emergencies.
Also read: The number of women in Spain dying of gender violence is at the highest level