Spain marks International Day against Violence against Women

by Lorraine Williamson
violence against women

November 25 is the International Day to End Violence Against Women. A major problem in Spain that still affects thousands of women and their children every year. A problem that has left 365 children orphaned in 10 years. 

Violence against women, sexual violence, domestic violence, all forms of the societal problem “partner violence” is too common in Spain. Yet it is not only women who are the victims, very often it is children. 

An average of 1.7 million Spanish children witness violence against their mother 

In Spain, an average of 1.7 million children live in homes where there has been domestic violence or partner violence. This is the estimate of the macro survey on violence against women conducted by the Ministry of Equality over the last 3 years. More than half of the abused women acknowledge that their children themselves have also been victims of violence by their (ex) partner. This is regardless of whether they were the biological children of the perpetrator. 

Some figures about victims of partner violence in Spain 

In many cases it concerns abuse of the children, but in the most extreme cases the children are also killed. Data has been kept since 2013. And in the past 10 years, 48 children have died. Seven of which died in 2021, and 2 children this year.

Since 2003, 1,171 women in Spain have been murdered by their (former) partner. Since that year, this information has been officially kept. The actual number will be higher because many cases are still unsolved. Therefore it is not clear whether it concerned intimate partner violence. 

Cogesa Expats

In the past 10 years, 365 children have been orphaned after partner violence against their mother. These are the children of the 512 women who were murdered between January 1, 2013 and November 10 of this year. This year, so far, 38 women were killed by their (ex) partner. 

Violence against women is more common in these Spanish provinces 

In absolute figures, between 2003 and 2022, Madrid (122) and Barcelona (114) have seen the most women killed by male violence. Because these are the most densely populated areas of Spain, this gives a distorted picture. Taking into account the number of women per province aged 15 and older, the highest rates are recorded in Almería (12 murders per 100,000 women) and Granada (10 murders per 100,000 women). 

Throughout Spain, an average of 440 reports of violence against women are received every day. According to the Observatory of the Judiciary. Last year, Spanish courts received 162,848 declarations, 8% more than the first year of the pandemic. To date, 87,508 declarations have been received by Spanish courts this year. 

Suspension of visitation arrangements between perpetrators and their children 

By 2021, courts will have issued more than 60,000 criminal judgments against perpetrators. Almost 24,000 cases involve a restraining order and almost 17,000 cases involve measures of a civil law nature. Among the latter, the number of suspensions of visitation arrangements between the convicts and their children stands out; from 847 to this year 2,008 suspensions in just 1 year. 

This increase is due to a change in the law to protect children and adolescents in the event of violence, which came into effect in June 2021. Within this law, the suspension of a visitation arrangement with children should be considered more often when the perpetrator has been found guilty of domestic violence against their (former) partner. 

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