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Spain celebrates anti-violence programme

25/07/17Culture

The political parties of Spain are celebrating an “historic” €1bn five-year programme designed to tackle gender-based violence.

The measures include providing victims of abuse with six months’ unconditional unemployment benefits to give them a new start, and outlawing imprisoned abusers from being visited by their children.

The agreement was reached after six months and 66 expert hearings.

Reports say 870 women died from gender-based violence between 2003 and 2016. So far this year, at least 31 women have died.

Spanish politicians have pursued successive programmes to address the issue since 1997, when 60-year-old Ana Orantes was beaten, thrown over a balcony and then burned to death by her ex-husband after repeatedly complaining to authorities about his violent behaviour.

Orantes had been forced to split her home with her husband following divorce court orders.

Some of the new measures that received parliamentary endorsement include the status of victim being extended to women who have not yet filed a criminal complaint, allowing them access to assistance; mechanisms for identifying victims of gender-based violence will be established in hospital emergency rooms and primary care; children orphaned by gender-based violence will have priority access to state benefits including educational support; tougher penalties for gender-based crimes committed on the internet; and education to tackle sexism and raise awareness of the feminist movement.

Javier Maroto of the ruling popular party described the new measures as an “unprecedented event” in Spanish political history.

Pan European Networks Ltd