Domestic violence is a social scourge, and last year 8 women were killed by their partners in the Canary Islands. Nationally there were 55 violencia de genero murders, the tally in the Canaries only surpassed by that in Andalusia with 13 and Catalonia with 9. The figure is the worst since 2015, when 60 women were killed, and the figures hardly drop below 50 in years with lower statistics: in recent years, only 2016 saw figures fall below, and that was just to 49.
Whenever I post about a woman killed in her own home by her partner or ex-partner, comments always come about women being violent too, that it’s not just men who are responsible for violencia de genero (which is how Spain defines gender violence). In the figures for 2019, however, as in most years, every single fatality was a woman, and every single partner who killed her was a man. It is therefore vital to reinforce the message that it is not man-hating to say that violencia de genero, by definition, is violence by men against women. There is simply no other way to put it, as the statistics show.
The issue is not about “violence” but “extreme violence that results in death”. As with rape, such offences are categorised here as they are elsewhere, as a power play by men against women in the overwhelming majority of cases, and such violence often ends in death rather than injury. Nonetheless, please do be aware that any act of physical or psychological violence, including attacks against sexual freedom, threats, humiliation, coercion, sexual abuse, or deprivation of liberty, is categorized as violencia de genero: it does not have to be physical to be classified as domestic abuse.
To me, as to many social, political and legal agencies which exist to help victims of domestic violence, the argument that “women do it too” serves merely to diminish the severity of the offence of “extreme violence that results in death”. To equate it to “violence” undermines the reality that in almost 100% of cases, it is women who die, not men. And that they do so specifically at men’s hands. And in 2019, in the Canaries, all the victims were female, and all their killers male.
The Police have called for social awareness and for the public, not just victims or their family, to denounce any cases they are aware of – No Te Calles, denúncialo (Don’t stay quiet, denounce it), they plead, please see HERE. Please also see THIS page for information about a range of social, political and legal resources that are available for anyone who is a situation where they feel threatened, vulnerable or at risk.
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