One of the subjects I concentrate on is domestic violence which is normally accepted as being aggression on the part of the male on his wife, girlfriend or former partner. Of course in some instances it is the woman who is the aggressor. Cases also occur of a partner alleging violence at as act of vengeance when none has happened.
Domestic violence has become a hot topic in Spain in recent years because the government has taken steps to offer protection and help to the victims so that many cases that in the past would have remained hidden now come out in to the open. It has to be said that the immigrant communities account for many of the deaths and acts of violence – and sadly Britons make up part of that number.
What caught my attention this week was the number of acts of aggression by young sons and daughters on their parents and grandparents. These have doubled in the last two years with the number of reports having risen from around 2,000 to 4,000.
According to data supplied by the minor’s prosecutor, Consuelo Madrigal, 40 per cent of the cases involve the daughters or grand daughters. She says this type of violence is one of the most worrying developments that have occurred since she took office in 2008.
It is believed that the frequency of attacks by children on the parents is probably higher as it is likely that many are not reported or brought before the courts. It was the case that 80 per cent of the attacks were by sons and 80 per cent of the victims were the mothers. However whilst mothers are still the main victims of abuse more attacks are now coming from the daughters.
There is apparently no profile either social or psychological for children who attack their parents. It is true to say that such assaults are more frequent in single parent families or where the father is absent permanently or for much of the time. Convicted children are normally placed in a family education unit where the minor will receive treatment and therapy – the majority of such cases are successfully treated. None-the-less I find this development very worrying especially in a society where respect for senior family members has always been strong.
By coincidence as these statistics were issued a 20-year-old youth was arrested in Sevilla for allegedly having stabbed his father to death in the bar he owned. The attack took place at around 7.30 and it was first thought that the father had died whilst confronting a thief. At 20 the son is over the age of being a minor but it is still a grim reminder of the reality of child on parent violence.