DECEMBER was a black month for domestic violence in Spain, and January has begun in a similarly dark fashion. But despite this apparent crisis, there is currently only one police protection officer in place for every 60 women who are at risk.
In the first week of the year, three women were killed at the hands of their partner or ex-partner. The incidents took place in Ciudad Real, Cadiz and Tenerife. In December, meanwhile, there were a total of 11 domestic violence murders.
The figures suggest that the efforts by the Socialist Party-led government, which has made women’s rights one of its star causes, have not been enough to tackle the problem.
And what’s more, the police and the Civil Guard do not have enough resources to deal with it.
According to figures from the special unit in charge of tackling gender violence, which have been seen by Spanish daily El Mundo, in 2022 there was just one officer for every 60 women at risk. Police sources told the newspaper that this was ‘completely insufficient’.
In some provinces the figure is much higher. In Avila and the Balearic Islands, there is one officer for every 150 women at risk, while in Seville, the number is as high as 95.
In response to the recent spike in killings, Interior Minister Fernando Grande-Marlaska has called a two-day meeting starting today. At the summit, all of the authorities in charge of fighting gender violence will analyse the reports filed denouncing gender violence during 2022.
But for the women who have lost their lives in recent weeks, the action will come too late.