Update 25 October: There has been much talk in the press and on social media about the Courts’ refusal of a protection order in this case, and perhaps because of the misleading and uninformed impression created that the authorities do not take domestic violence seriously, the Courts have taken the highly unusual step of explaining publicly why the request was rejected.
They say that the police themselves did not consider the situation to warrant such an order because one of the denuncias received lacked evidence while the others were relatively minor, e.g. abusive text messages which were not specifically threatening, a refusal to return car keys, etc. The Courts’ decisions in such cases is heavily influenced by police statements, and none of the denuncias issued in this case concerned behaviour which could result in an arrest.
None the less, the Courts considered that there was cause for concern, but because the man was not considered a lethal risk, and since his place of work was so near to his ex-wife’s home that a distance order would have made it impossible for him to keep his job, and thus provide for the pair’s children, an alternative was proposed for the wife to go to a safe house. Sadly, and with tragic results, she rejected the option of a place.
The Courts say that the decisions it made have been confirmed as appropriate and correct by the public prosecutor, and as I’ve said several times previously, domestic violence is a matter that is taken extremely seriously in the Canaries. Evidently the reaction by the authorities is not just a justification, but a reassurance that this tragedy was one that could not have been foreseen or prevented, and that where there is scope for action, it is always taken.
Original post 24 October: All levels of government have held a minute’s silence for a 36-year-old woman stabbed to death by her ex-partner around 11pm on Thursday evening in the Sobradillo area of Santa Cruz. The man carried out the attack after the couple argued in a car, and stabbed her as she got out of the vehicle. Continuing the attack in the street in full public view, he also tried to stab his former mother-in-law, who was with her daughter.
Although he fled the scene, he was picked up quickly and is now in custody; police say that despite his denials of involvement, the knife was found thrown away nearby, and witnesses confirm it was he who killed the woman, who had previously made denuncias against him for abuse; she had also sought a protection order against him earlier this very month, but it had not been granted. The couple had three children together, and the poor woman’s death is the 39th this year by domestic violence in Spain.