Thursday, November 25, 2010


Today, November 25, is the international day against domestic violence.

My view on this is very simple: I have zero tolerance for anybody, male or female, who inflicts violence on their partner or ex-partner. I believe men have a special responsibility to take a stand against this blight to our society. In the majority of cases, not all but the majority, it is men who inflict the violence. Hence it is the men in society who have to put a stop to it.

I live in Andalucía and according to the regional government there are 73 reports of domestic violence every day. The data formed a report for region’s parliament which shows there were 26,838 such complaints last year. This figure amounts to a 7.8 increase over 2008.

In 2009 the courts in Andalucía issued 5,287 protection orders. The Andalucía minister of equality and social welfare, Micaela Navarro, says it is vital that women in this situation report their cases so that help and assistance can be given.

The ministry has also published the provisional figures that show 15 women have died in Andalucía so far this year from domestic violence – more than the total in 2009. At the time of writing there have been 63 deaths in wider Spain.

Since the laws to offer the sufferers of domestic violence protection the nation has been stunned by the number of cases and the violent deaths. Ironically whilst such violence has always existed it has been behind closed doors. Now the suffers come forward and all too often their partners react by killing them. The laws have simple not kept up with developments. In many cases the problems have been caused by the laws that are meant to offer protection. Nor are these crimes restricted to the young or middle aged – what has surprised me more than anything is the cases involving men and women in their 70s or 80s.

It is true that many of the deaths from domestic violence involve immigrants to the country. In many areas the number of cases of abuse involving non-Spaniards exceeds those of nationals. In Algeciras there is a major problem with Moroccans who form a large immigrant group – on the Costa del Sol I am ashamed to say that Britons and Northern Europeans feature highly in the number of court cases.

It is not a Spanish problem it is an international problem hence the holding of this special day. Yet in essence it is a male problem and so we men have to solve it.

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