The number of women in Spain dying from gender violence is at the highest level

by Lorraine Williamson
gender violences

A 35-year-old woman was stabbed to death in Madrid last Saturday night by her ex-partner. This gender violence crime brings the total number of women murdered at the hands of their partner or ex-partner to 49 in 2023 so far. 

The number of women murdered in Spain this year by their partner or ex-partner is already as high as for the whole of 2022. In the last four months alone, 27 murders have been confirmed, 55% of the total. Four in June, eight in July, seven in August and so far a further eight in September. 

Worst September since 2008 

According to statistics from the Government Delegation against Gender Violence, there has not been a September with such a worrying balance in 15 years. You have to go back to 2008 (when there were 50 homicides by male violence by this point) to find a figure that is higher in September than the current year. 

Moreover, there were other bad years. For example 2019, when 48 women were murdered by their partner or ex-partner in the same period. In 2011, gender violence was fatal for 46 women. A total of 1,233 women have been killed by gender violence since these crimes were recorded in 2003. 

High-risk periods 

Holiday periods, around Christmas and summer, are always times when more cases of gender violence occur. The change in routines or more intensive coexistence increases the risk for victims to suffer more violence, experts explain. 

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The government’s representative on gender violence, Victoria Rosell, pointed this out less than a month ago: “It is of course difficult to convey safety to women when another group from society, fortunately a minority, says that gender violence does not exist,” she stated at a press conference. “There is no greater accomplice to violence than silence; and those who support silence support the lack of a way out of violence,” she added. 

Crisis committee convened 

In view of this increase, the Ministry of Equality convened a crisis committee on Wednesday. This is a tool that was first activated last December and has already been used three times this summer alone. The goal is to analyse each case and figure out what may have gone wrong in the system in protecting these women from the deadliest consequences of gender violence: murder. 

Rosell also asked to consider possible guidance for victims by the institutions when they have to go to the home of their attackers to collect their belongings. Even if no complaint has been filed. It was also proposed to tighten the granting of firearms licenses and to align the amount of assistance for victims of gender-based violence and their families with that for victims of terrorism, among other proposals. 

Emergency numbers and app 

To help potential victims of gender violence, the following resources are available 24 hours a day: the telephone number 016, the email 016-online@igualdad.gob.es and the WhatsApp channel at 600 000 016. 

In an emergency you can call 112 or the emergency numbers of the National Police (091) and the Guardia Civil (062). If calling is impossible, you can use the ALERTCOPS app, which sends an alarm signal to the police with geolocation. 

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