National Police officers have arrested a woman in Marbella for allegedly physically and psychologically abusing her own mother and aunt. Alarm bells started to ring for the town’s social services when medical reports for the 90 and 97-year-old started to accumulate with the suspicion of physical and psychological aggression.
The police investigation, carried out by the Marbella police station’s Family and Women's Care Unit (UFAM), was prompted by a complaint from the town hall’s social services department, which in turn alerted the Public Prosecutor's Office.
The UFAM officers began by gathering information about the victims, who lived together in the same home under the care of a relative. The investigations confirmed that the two women were "frequently" seen to by the health services in Marbella due to injuries which, in view of the medical reports, were compatible with physical aggression.
Police officers also investigated the victims' environment and corroborated that the victims allegedly suffered "ill-treatment, humiliation and shouting" by their carer, according to sources close to the case.
The investigation has also revealed that social services, on seeing the state of "neglect" in which the elderly women lived, offered to place both of the women in a care home. However, officers believe that the younger woman refused the offer because she would have lost the financial benefit she was receiving for her role as their carer.
Police officers arrested the woman, while the victims have been placed in a care home, which, according to the police station, "has remedied the situation of ill-treatment and neglect to which they were exposed". The judge involved in the case has also issued the woman with a restraining order.
The arrest comes just days after the Andalusian Prosecutor's Office report for the year 2021 was made public, which includes evidence that impunity in abuse against the elderly is "much higher" than in cases of gender violence.
The report reflects a slight increase in cases of cases of abuse towards the elderly, from 32 in 2020 to 38 in 2121. However, the highest rate was in 2011, when more than a hundred investigative proceedings were initiated by the Public Prosecutor's Office.
Since 2003, the Public Prosecutor's Office has been counting the number of cases in Malaga, which exceeds a thousand since then. The Public Prosecutor's Office insists that this matter deserves a "special" criminal reproach given the vulnerability of the victims, who have "never" reported the abuse.
In the case of violence against the elderly, the Public Prosecutor's Office report emphasises that there is a "very broad spectrum" of abuse and that there are often “extensive emotional ties and dependence linked to the abuser", who are generally children, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law or grandchildren.