Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: not much to celebrate yet

endViolenceDay for the Elimination of Violence against Women was celebrated as each November 25. In spite of the traditional institutional events, public statements and motions and a big array of good intentions and wills, the situation for women is today worse than it was some years ago. Some data and testimonies coming from Spain are woefully representative of that reality.

Carolina García from Tu Voz Cuenta (Your Voice Matters) campaign asserts that cuts in social policy limits the chance for women to make their own choices regarding to their bodies, relationships and autonomy and represent a new type of violence against women. Immaculada Montalbán, President of the Gender-Based Violence Observatory of the Spanish General Council of Judiciary (henceforth CGPJ) states that in such a context of uncertainty women are less likely to report violence to the police because they feel much more dependent on their partners. CGPJ points out that before the crisis 30% of abused women reported their situation to the police; today only 16% dare.

According to CGPJ’s data, reports decreased by 10% between 2008 and 2012 in Spain. The Catalan Ministry of Internal Affairs  claims that women murdered by men jumped from 9 in 2008 to 15 in 2012 (+67%), while reports and convictions fell by 3% and 25% respectively. Crisis has heavily worsened women situation as they are now more dependent and vulnerable. Less individual economic resources and harmful budget cuts are threatening several previous achievements which are increasingly being wounded.

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