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Andalucía reforms gender-based violence law to include children

  • Protection under the regional ‘Violencia de Género’ law has been extended to victims’ children and girls suffering female genital mutilation

Just three days before International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women, commemorated today, 25 November, Andalusian government ministers approved a reform bill affecting the regional law aimed at providing prevention and protection in cases of gender-based violence.

The ‘Ley de Medidas de Prevención Integral Contra la Violencia de Género’, which dates back to 2007, will now be modified to provide specific protection to other groups such as victims’ children and to bring its concept of violence against women and domestic violence in line with the international convention signed in Istanbul in 2011.

Violence against women applies not only to murder and physical and sexual abuse, but also to a violation of sexual and reproductive rights, sexual exploitation and female genital mutilation, as well as ‘cyber violence’, among other forms.

According to the reform, children will now be considered victims of violence against women, not only if they suffer violence themselves, but also if they are exposed to the violence suffered by their mothers.

Statistics

Also on Tuesday the regional minister for equality, María José Sánchez Rubio, revealed the results of a recent study regarding violence against women. Since specific records began to be compiled in 2003, 172 women have died at the hands of their partners in Andalucía and 865 in Spain as a whole. So far this year 39 women have been killed in Spain, three of them in Andalucía.

Other figures from 2015 reveal that 2,168 people were considered to be in danger of losing their lives due to the threat of gender-based violence, 26,000 cases were heard by the domestic violence courts and 4,500 protection orders issued.

The reform bill will now have to go through the Andalusian parliament, a step that Izquierda Unida representative Elena Cortés considers too slow. She stated that the regional government should have passed the reform as a special, urgent decree. “The Junta de Andalucía operates at a slower pace than the one women need when it comes to rights,” she said.