The “brave” gender violence law celebrates 15 years with pending challenges

Avant-garde and brave, mirror for laws of other countries, the Law of Integral Protection against Gender Violence meets this Saturday 15 years with pending challenges but with the objective achieved that this “very serious social problem” will move from private to public.

On December 28, 2004, Law 1/2004 was approved to give comprehensive treatment to sexist violence, from prevention to care for victims, through criminal criminalization of crimes committed by aggressors. The law established that this violence was structural and specific against women.

Driven by the feminist movement in a context in which more than 70 women were killed every year by their partners or ex-partners, it was the first rule approved by the Executive of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, who understood that the severity of this phenomenon required regulation specific to give visibility and solution to this problem.


In 15 years, more than 1.5 million women have denounced their aggressor.

“It is a historic milestone in our legislation, it goes on to say that gender violence is not a family matter but is the responsibility of all public authorities and, consequently, it is a matter of State,” the founding partner of the Association of Women Judges of Spain (AMJE), Lucía Avilés.

With the law, he continued, a letter of nature was given to “a specific model of violence that affects women by the mere fact of being one and is characterized by being structural, systematic, historical and generalized.”

Unanimously passed, this “exemplary” law that faced “courage and sincerity” violence against women made democracy enter all spaces to ensure the integrity of half the population, said the vice president of the Government and minister of Equality in functions, Carmen Calvo, during the act of homage to this rule.

The vice president of the Association of Women Jurists Themis, Altamira Gonzalo, stressed that this law has been essential to help more than one million women get out of the well of gender violence because it established different resources – judicial, police, economic and social- for that.


The comprehensive approach to violence in the sphere of the couple covered from prevention to education, through awareness raising, criminalization of criminal offenses or the creation of specialized courts and forensic units.

This is the democratic law that has been the subject of a greater number of issues of unconstitutionality, all of them overcome, when the Constitutional Court understands that the violence that arises in the sphere of the couple affects women overwhelmingly and overwhelmingly.

According to the Constitutional Law, imposing a greater penalty on men is “reasonable”, since women are “insufficiently” protected in the sphere of the couple, does not violate the principle of equality and does not discriminate on the basis of sex, since it is not imposed by being male but for a serious behavior that reproduces a “deep-rooted inequality” and an “aggressive model” against women.

The president of the Audience of Pamplona and gender coordinator of Judges and Judges for Democracy, Esther Erice, has clarified that the law was so questioned and generated resistance because it put the focus on the unequal social organization that underlies this violence structural.

Erice has stressed that the law has meant a “positive development” in the protection of women, but also because it has made visible the phenomenon, knowing its scope and having tools to deal with it.

“It is an enormously brave and advanced law because it is passed 15 years ago to protect women from the violence of men with whom they have had a relationship. (…) We come from a 40-year dictatorship instilling the submission of women “, said the specialized journalist Charo Nogueira.


Both Erice and Gonzalo have emphasized the need to provide the law economically to improve its effectiveness.

“It is effective, in addition countries in our environment are using it as a mirror: France, the Latin American countries. It is an advanced legislation, very novel, avant-garde, but logically after 15 years it has to adapt and retouch,” Aviles has affected.

Just two years ago, the Parliament also approved the State Pact against Gender Violence with broad support, with more than 200 measures to advance in the fight against this problem. Many of them remain unimplemented because of the political blockade.

Extending the concept of violence beyond the scope of the couple, addressing the criminalization of sexual crimes and adapting the legal system to the Istanbul Convention are some of the most pressing requirements.

For the vice president, the Pact is a new link in the unity of action and unanimity that has existed around sexist violence and asserts that society cannot yield a millimeter and that the denialists “cannot break the great majority” that Spain has been able to build.

“Not only do they attack half of the population, they attack directly at the heart of democracy. (…) We are a State and a society overwhelmingly committed to stop this terrible injustice against those who deny it, which by denying it gives wings to machismo , against those who try to dilute it, “said Calvo.

In this sense, Nogueira considers the current lack of political consensus after the irruption of the extreme right to be “very serious”: “It means that there is a part of the political spectrum that does not consider it relevant for women to be killed by those who said they love them. Equality. it’s a democratic wicker. “

“The law and the pact are two very relevant instruments that have come to light as a result of a consensus. (…) The rupture of the consensus would weaken the tools and, therefore, there would be a greater risk of committing crimes against women,” Erice has reflected.

Violeta Molina Gallardo


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