Spain cracks down on domestic violence

The latest measures of the Spanish government’s policies aimed at tackling the worrying figures of domestic violence in Spain came into effect today.

The measures against domestic violence are grouped together in the Integral Law against gender violence and as from today 430 specialised courts will deal with cases related to domestic violence. Most of the new courts will be mixed (i.e. will deal with other cases) but a few will deal exclusively with cases related to domestic violence. 14 of the judges who will preside these courts are women.

The Chairwoman of the government’s Observatory against Gender Violence, Monserrat Comas, said today that the new courts would make the administration of all court cases easier because victims of domestic violence would no longer be required to go from court to court to prosecute aggressors and then seek separation and divorce.

Furthermore, as from today, threatening a woman with violence will be considered a criminal offence. This last measure was criticised by the Popular Party when it was proposed by the Socialist government on the grounds that a threatened man should have the same rights as a threatened woman. However, despite protests the measure was passed so that from today onwards, any man who threatens his partner will be considered to be committing a serious criminal offence. Men who do not comply with orders to keep a minimum distance from their ex-partners will also be committing a crime and if found guilty, could pay with a prison sentence or a heavy fine.