Spain has recorded 19 murders of women motivated by machismo committed by men with whom they did not have a relationship between January and June of this year. This has been recorded by the Government Delegation against Gender Violence, which presented this Monday for the first time the new statistics on femicides announced at the end of 2021. These are women murdered by men for being so, regardless of the fatal cases in the sphere of the partner or ex-partner, which in the same period have been 23.
The Ministry of Equality has been working on statistics since the beginning of the year, after a consultation process with experts and specialized organizations, which will be published and updated every three months. It thus becomes the first country in Europe to count all the victims. The concept of femicide, especially used in Latin America, refers to all murders committed by men for reasons of machismo or misogyny.
The count is divided into different categories: 11 were family femicides, that is, women killed by members of their family environment, which represent 58% of the cases. Two are classified as sexual femicides committed by a neighbor and an acquaintance of two girls under 16 years of age. And six have been social femicides, those cases of a non-sexual nature committed by men outside the scope of the couple, such as strangers, neighbors, employers, etc. These account for 32% of the total. In the fourth category, that of vicarious murders, none have been recorded.
“It was an operation that we owed to Spanish society and women”, assured the delegate against Gender Violence Victoria Rosell, who recognized “the difficulty” of carrying it out from scratch and “without having the machinery oiled as in those of a partner or ex-partner”. For her part, the Secretary of State for Equality, Ángela Rodríguez, has described the step taken as a “paradigm shift” and a “feminist” mandate, in addition to the Istanbul Convention, which claims to consider all murders of women of this nature.
"What is not named does not exist, today we begin as a Government to begin to recognize that there have been murders that until now have gone under the radar," added Rodríguez, who has promised that the data will serve as a "push to carry out political commitments” in the face of violence that “marks the biography of women throughout their lives”.
The new statistic complements that of fatalities killed by men with whom they had or had a romantic relationship, which Spain launched in 2003 and which will remain the same. However, in recent years, cases such as that of Laura Luelmo or Diana Quer served to amplify a feminist demand to consider sexist violence as all murders of women perpetrated by men because they are, regardless of whether the aggressor maintains with her or not an emotional relationship.
All the assailants were known
The statistical operation also provides information on the relationship between aggressors and victims. All were men known to the women. The vast majority, relatives. Nine were descendants, six children and three grandchildren of the murdered women, one was the father, one was another relative, four were neighbors, two roommates and two other acquaintances.
Regarding age, 57.9% of the murdered women were over 60 years of age, something that worries the Ministry of Equality because it "reveals" that the violence "is directed at a different group of women" than the violence of gender within the couple, in which 52% of women are between 40 and 50 years old. Even so, the department led by Irene Montero asks for "prudence" to see if "the trend continues" when a longer time series is available.
The autonomous communities with the most cases of femicide (three in all cases) were Andalusia (two family and one sexual), Canarias (two family and one social) and Catalonia (all family), followed by two cases in Aragón (one family and another social), and the Community of Madrid (both social), (each assuming 10.5% of the cases).
The statistical operation presented this Monday is a measure contemplated in the State Pact against Gender Violence approved in 2017 and announced for the first time at the end of 2018, when the first steps began to be taken.