August 4, 2021

Four minors from the Canary Islands, at risk of suffering vicarious violence


Two children with posters participate in a feminist rally.

Two children with posters participate in a feminist rally.
Europa Press

Until 56 minors in Spain are at high or extreme risk of suffering vicarious violence, the one that parents exert on them to harm their mother, that is, a form of gender violence. From this figure, four of them are in the Canary Islands.

This fifty children is inside the Comprehensive Monitoring System in cases of Gender Violence (Viogen), of the Ministry of the Interior, through which the Police assess the cases of this scourge reported and, taking into account their level of risk, follow-up and give specific protection to the victims.

In these cases, and after assessing the situation of women who are victims of gender violence, the Police determine that there is “a special combination of indicators that suggest that the violence exerted by the aggressor on the victim could spread to other people close to her. , especially towards minors in their care “.

But these 56 children (55 at high risk and 1 at extreme risk) are only 11.8% of the 417, in total, who are within the group of active cases in Viogén that Interior calls “minors at risk. The remaining 415 children were assessed as medium risk.

Andalusia is the community with the highest number of minors in follow-up due to risk, 140 (16 of them high or extreme); followed by Madrid, with 74 (10 at high or extreme risk); Valencian Community, with 72 (7 at high or extreme risk); and the Canary Islands, with 41 (4 high or extreme).

Cases of special relevance

But it is not the only category of Viogenic that involves minors, the department headed by Fernando Grande-Marlaska also monitors those in a situation of “special relevance”, cases in which the Police recommend to the Judicial and Fiscal Authority the practice of additional expert evaluation in the forensic field.

In this case, there are 4,394 minors who adhere to the Viogén system, the majority, 3,711, at medium risk level, compared to 669 at high risk and 14 who are at extreme risk.

This system also keeps track of another 5,634 minors who, after evaluating their mothers’ cases, the Police detect a special combination of indicators that put them in a particularly vulnerable situation.

Through this protection system, the Government intends to prevent cases of vicarious violence, such as the minors of Tenerife, Olivia and Anna, kidnapped by their father during the visitation regime. The lifeless body of Olivia, 6 years old, appeared a little over a week ago under the sea, while the search continues for that of her 1-year-old sister.

What is vicarious violence?

The Government Delegate Against Gender Violence, Victoria Rosell, explained to Europa Press that it is violence “by substitution” that is practiced when the aggressor “no longer has a direct relationship” with the woman, because he has ended the relationship, and “uses his children as tools.”

The aggressors are “men who do not tolerate the freedom and equality of women and react with sexist violence.” “They are nothing more than the bloodiest face of inequality,” Rosell pointed out.

One of his predecessors in this position, Miguel Lorente, has warned that vicarious violence does not occur only with the murder of minors, but that during the period before the crime, the aggressor uses his children to have “control and dominance “, in this case of the woman.

Lorente has called for awareness of this situation. “When a man enters a bar and assaults someone and then the two people who try to separate him, he is sentenced for assaulting three people,” said the former government delegate, before noting that when a man is sentenced for Gender violence is only attributed mistreatment to the woman and not towards her children.

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