History of gender violence in Spain. Data and laws to understand at a glance

Is there more gender violence? Or less, but is more visible and are we more aware? How many victims have it taken for passion crimes to become a social problem with their own denomination and law?

We study the figures of gender violence in Spain and the legislation to understand its evolution in our country and especially the change of public opinion regarding a scourge That doesn't end up disappearing.

The statistics of violence in our country help us to study the way how it has evolved, but also to preserve the memory of the victims, pay tribute to them and observe how society has positioned itself in the face of this serious problem.

The facts that mark the reality of a drama

Since 2012, the Government Delegation for Gender Violence distributes a Monthly Statistical Bulletin where official data is collected regarding the deadly victims of gender violence month by month. In parallel different associations of victims also collect data, an issue that causes controversy because there are different criteria to decide who is a victim and who is not. It is for this reason that we have relied exclusively on the data collected by the Government Delegation since 2004 with the following data on fatalities since the foundation of this body:

2004: 72

2005: 58

2006: 68

2007: 71

2008: 84

2009: 68

2010: 85

2011: 67

2012: 57

2013: 57

2014: 59

2015: 64

2016: 53

2017 (ongoing): 49

Before these dates We have data collected by the Women's Institute since 2000 (it has been impossible to find official statistics from previous years), as we can see in this graph.

As we can see, since the implementation of the law of 2004, the biggest uptick in macho violence in Spain it occurred during 2008, when a total of 76 women were killed by their partners or ex-partners, followed by 2010, with 73 deaths. It was also in that year that a greater number of the fatal victims of sexist violence had reported: 22 of the 73 dead had done so.

The history of the Law against Gender Violence in Spain

For years considered a family problem and cataloged under the concept of "crime of passion", gender violence had to wait many years, specifically until December 2004, to pass a law to combat it: the Comprehensive Law against Gender Violence

Already in the last years of the 90s different associations of women working with victims and studying violence raised the need for a specific law Against this type of violence. His message and starting point is that we were facing a state problem that needed to be fought with specific policies from all areas.

During the electoral campaign of the year 2000, the candidate at that time of the Popular Party, José María Aznar, assumed the proposal to implement an Integral law in the event of governing. The PSOE also began the work of preparing a Proposal for a comprehensive Law against gender violence in which experts from many fields participated, from all variants of the legal field, through professionals in the education and health sector, in addition to having the experience of the groups and movements that had been fighting gender violence for years. Among all the measures it was requested to create the Government Delegation against Gender Violence, with the rank of Secretary of State. The motion presented by the PSOE at that time was rejected, but the Socialist Group presented its Proposal for a Comprehensive Organic Law against Gender Violence in Congress.

That debate was held on September 10, 2002 and the result was as follows: 165 votes against and 151 in favor. All groups supported the initiative except the Popular Group, which voted against it. In parallel, women's organizations constituted in the Network of Feminist Organizations presented a campaign calling for a comprehensive law against gender violence.

The Organic Law of Integral Protection Measures against Gender Violence finally arrived. December 28, 2004. A law that was born with the consensus of the entire parliamentary arch and with a purpose: to protect victims of ill-treatment, persecute abusers, prevent and eradicate this type of violence and turn it into a social problem to denounce (and with which finish).

Of course we are talking about a law that marked a before and after in this social scourge. Since its introduction, women continued to die at the hands of their partners (or ex-partners) but the first data reflected that in the first ten years more than one million complaints were filed.

What is gender violence in Spain (according to the law)

For gender violence, as stated in the law, it is considered physical and psychological violence, threats, coercion, deprivation of liberty and aggressions of sexual freedom.

The Pact against Gender Violence: more than 210 measures to prevent sexist violence

In addition, as we told you only a few months ago, a new pact approved by a majority in Congress in September contemplated more than 210 new measures to sensitize society and prevent sexist violence, One of the most anticipated measures of this new Pact is the extension of the concept of sexist violence. So far only violence by couples and ex-partners was considered, but from this Covenant all types of violence against women are contemplated included in the Istanbul Convention: Rape, genital mutilation, forced marriage, sexual harassment, abortion and forced sterilization and gender-based harassment will be included.

Also with this pact, mothers who had lost their children killed by their sentimental partners or ex-partners will also be considered victims and will be entitled to the same aid and protection.

In addition, the pact includes more measures in the field of justice and for the awareness of society, among other things. In any case, it is about a step forward very important that it should translate into a set of improvements and measures to assist victims.

From the 80s to the present, Spain, like many other countries in the world has taken measures to condemn all types of discrimination and violence against women, although there are still many in which it is not put into practice.

It is clear that they are necessary measures and that they have taken a step forward to fight this heinous practice, but all these measures are still not enough. And there is no need to ask why: just go back a few paragraphs in this article and see the amount of lives that have been lost in what we have of year.

Graphics | Javier Lacort

In Jared | Sexist violence is cheap: one in four abusers does not serve their sentence

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