A woman is arrested in Marbella for mistreating her mother and her nonagenarian aunt

National Police Station in Marbella. / SOUTH

Social services alerted the National Police of the risk situation of the two elderly women, who were apparently victims of physical and psychological violence

JUAN CANO Malaga

The alarms jumped by the reiteration. The medical parts were accumulated with a common denominator: the suspicion of physical and psychological aggression. The National Police, who turned the conjectures into evidence, has arrested the caregiver of two women aged 90 and 97 accused of mistreating them. The arrested woman is the daughter of one of the victims and the niece of the other.

The police investigation, carried out by the Family and Women's Care Unit (UFAM) of the Marbella police station, started with a complaint from the social services of the City Council, which in turn alerted the Prosecutor's Office of the situation of risk from the socio-sanitary point of view in which the two elderly dependent women were.

The UFAM agents began by collecting information on the victims, who lived in the same home under the care of a relative of both. The investigations allowed them to verify that the two women were treated "frequently" by the Marbella health services due to injuries that, in the view of the medical reports, were compatible with physical aggression.

The police officers also investigated the victims' environment and confirmed that the victims allegedly suffered "mistreatment, harassment and yelling" by their caregiver, according to sources close to the case.

In addition, it so happens that the social services, seeing the state of "neglect" in which the elderly women were, offered the caregiver to place both elderly women in a residence where they could receive the necessary care. However, the woman rejected such an offer because with it -the investigators suspect- she would have lost the economic benefit that she enjoyed for her role as caregiver.

The victims, to a residence

In view of the evidence collected, the police arrested the woman as the alleged perpetrator of a crime of abuse, while the victims have entered a residence, with which, according to the police station, "the situation of abuse has been corrected and abandonment to which they were exposed». The judge, in addition, has issued a restraining order for the investigated regarding the two old women.

Curiously, the arrest occurs only a few days after the annual report of the Andalusian Superior Prosecutor's Office for the year 2021 was made public, in which, among other observations, it was denounced that impunity in elder abuse is “far superior” to that produced in gender-based violence.

The fiscal memory reflects a slight increase in cases of elder abuse, which went from 32 (in 2020) to 38 (last year). However, the highest rate was found in 2011, where more than one hundred investigative steps were taken by the Public Ministry.

The judicial document recalls that this activity began as a result of the creation of a protocol in Andalusia by the then Ministry of Equality and Social Welfare, through the General Directorate of Gender Violence, in which the prosecutors were made participants. Andalusians.

Starting in 2003, the Public Ministry carried out a count in Malaga of the number of cases, which has just exceeded a thousand since then. The Prosecutor's Office insists that this matter deserves a "special" criminal reproach given the maximum vulnerability of the victims, who "never" have denounced.

Consequently, the trinomial "elderly-mistreated-vulnerable" results in a "obscurantism" when reporting, which contributes to these behaviors remaining, according to the court document, which considers that there is a "hidden bag" of cases that they do not come to light.

The Malaga Prosecutor's Office underlines the "physical and emotional dependence" of the victim on the aggressor or aggressors, while clarifying that, on occasions, there is the circumstance that several abusers coexist under the same roof.

The tax report emphasizes article 416 of the Law of Criminal Procedure, which exempts relatives in direct ascending and descending line (parents and children), their spouse or person united by de facto relationship, from testifying against the defendant. The article, as the Deputy Prosecutor Flor de Torres herself has denounced on many occasions, becomes a source of impunity in gender-based violence, where many procedures end up shelved or in acquittal sentences because many of the victims throw themselves behind during the process and refuse to testify against the abuser.

Well, in the case of violence against the elderly, the Prosecutor's Office highlights that there is a "very wide spectrum" of the effects of article 416. "The abused person uses this legal benefit almost completely due to the extensive affective and dependency ties united to his abuser, "highlights the tax report. Not surprisingly, it is generally about sons, sons-in-law, daughters-in-law or grandchildren.

The Prosecutor's Office recognizes that this source of impunity in elder abuse is "far superior" to that of cases of sexist violence. In this sense, they point out in memory, there is also a gender component in violence against the elderly, where the aggressor, by "overwhelming majority", is a man, while the victim is usually a woman.

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