Photo: Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga (L) and Spanish government delegate in the Canarias Anselmo Pestana (R). Adeje Ayuntamiento.
Adeje Ayuntamiento has announced that it is now part of the VioGén system designed to protect victims of domestic violence. Although this is naturally a local story, the big takeaway for me is that there is this national system, protecting victims of domestic violence through a collaborative network of local and national security forces that offers them extensive, rapid and active protection. Please see THIS page for further information and links to some resources. As I stress there, please do understand that the law defines domestic violence as any act of physical or psychological violence, including attacks against sexual freedom, threats, humiliation, coercion, sexual abuse, or deprivation of liberty. Violencia de genero does not have to be physical to be classified as domestic abuse.
And now, Adeje mayor José Miguel Rodríguez Fraga and Spanish government delegate in the Canarias Anselmo Pestana have signed a collaborative protocol between the national security forces and the local police to enhance protection for victims of domestic violence. In signing up to the protocol, Adeje joins 25 other boroughs in the Canaries working similarly to protect victims, a clear demonstration, the council says, of the unity of purpose the local town halls have in fighting any sense that this scourge is entering into the new normality of daily life.
“Less than a week ago we were able to congratulate two boroughs, hugely important to the economy of the Canary Islands, San Bartolomé de Tirajana and Puerto de la Cruz, on their incorporation into the VioGén system. And today, just five days later, we can welcome another of the important key tourist destinations in the archipelago, Adeje, who is also joining the network, participating in the coordination and police collaboration necessary for the protection of victims of domestic violence. A piece of good news indeed”, said Anselmo Pestana.
Pestana added, “From the office of the Spanish delegation in the Canarias, and the Violence against Women Unit, we could not be happier at the response we have received from town halls throughout the archipelago, a welcome for this initiative which extends the network of effective and rapid police protection for women who are being mistreated, abused, and at risk, and their children. The commitment from local authorities to the victims is obvious and accompanied by a similar commitment from the Spanish government and this office, to continue to work to eradicate domestic violence as a priority in this new normality”.
Mayor Fraga said that this was an important step for the local police, to incorporate this protocol and the tools that go with it, and “continue to improve the means we have to protect women who are suffering from this kind of violence and their families who are affected by it. He said “this is a fundamental pillar running through the politics of this borough, the protection of the most vulnerable members of our society who suffer injustices, inequality, and who need help from local administrations to live a full life with all the accompanying rights and liberties”.
The mayor also explained that “the collaboration between different administrations to end social scourges such as violence against women in family settings is fundamental. This is why the unity of action in all parts of society is an indispensible tool for allowing us to move ahead.” The mayor also detailed that the local police have already used some of the VioGén methods (the system gauges levels of risk to assess the protection needed on an on-going basis for individual victims), but now they can increase the effectiveness of the data collected using a much more extensive network and a more effective one in giving “better protection to those who need it and over a much larger geographical spread”.
As San Bartolomé de Tirajana (Gran Canaria) and Puerto de la Cruz did last Thursday, Adeje is now signed up to the VioGén system, which was incorporated by the state in 2007, to facilitate rapid, integrated and effective protection for abused women and their children. Canarian boroughs and towns that are part of the VioGén system include, in Tenerife, Santa Cruz de Tenerife, Tegueste, San Miguel de Abona, Güímar, Granadilla de Abona, El Rosario, Santiago del Teide, Puerto de La Cruz; in Gran Canaria, La Aldea de San Nicolás, Ingenio, Santa Brígida and San Bartolomé de Tirajana; in Fuerteventua, Antigua; and in El Hierro, La Frontera. There are also a number of boroughs who are currently using other collaborative protocols but not yet part of VioGén – they are Moya, Tejeda, Artenara and Valleseco (Gran Canaria), El Paso and San Andrés y Sauces (La Palma), Betancuria (Fuerteventura) and Vallehermoso, Hermigua, Valle Gran Rey and Alajeró (La Gomera).