Almost twice as many women murdered in May and June than in the first four months of the year. The end of the restrictions due to COVID-19 accelerated the deadly crimes of sexist violence as rarely had happened before. This same week two more men have killed their partners in Pozuelo de Alarcón (Madrid) and Sabadell (Barcelona), which has raised the cases to 28 in 2021. The rebound after the fall of the state of alarm led the Government, on a proposal of the Ministry of Equality, to activate a diagnosis to search for faults and possible improvements in the protection of victims that, after a first phase in collaboration with associations, communities, municipalities and institutions, has led to a first package of measures that the Council of Ministers expects to give the green light on Tuesday.
Equality promotes a plan to review the protocols against sexist violence after the five murders in four days
It is an agreement between several ministries – Equality, Interior, Social Rights and the 2030 Agenda, Justice and Health – that includes more than a dozen “urgent” reforms that they will have to implement, focused on areas such as the involvement of the environment of the victim and the whole of society, early detection of violence, “support for autonomy” for women, institutional coordination or “improved protection” for victims and their children. This with a view to “advancing in the consolidation of the institutional response to sexist violence as a matter of State”, reads the agreement, to which elDiario.es has had access.
This is the first step in the Plan for Improvement and Modernization against Gender Violence announced by Minister Irene Montero, but it does not carry an economic commitment, so the implementation of the measures will be “conditioned” to “budget availability “in each case and depending on” the path of fiscal consolidation set by the Government, “the text specifies. In addition, in the case of implementations that depend on communities and municipalities, for example, those that refer to social services, they will be optional.
Protection even if they do not report
Since 2003, the year in which they began to be officially counted, 1,105 women have been murdered, while the number of complaints annually exceeds 150,000. However, those that do so are a minority: according to the 2019 Macro-survey, they do not reach 30%. Protect these women and widening the avenues so that, even if they do not denounce or desist from the process once they do so, they get out of the violence is one of the objectives set by the plan, which includes more and less concrete measures. To this end, the inclusion in the VioGén System will be promoted, the tool with which police stations carry out risk assessment and follow-up on victims, Social Services and those who are specialized, to which they go in most cases without complaint. in the middle.
“Improving the ATENPRO service”, which is the one that offers telephone assistance and immediate location to victims 24 hours a day, for cases in which there is no complaint will be another intention, although the agreement does not detail how it will be done. And also within the scope of the Secretary of State for Security, an instruction will be drawn up to “promote” Form Zero, a tool designed by Interior to collect the information that police officers sometimes collect from relatives or close friends of the victims when they come into contact with a case and the woman does not report it. The objective is to have all this data also available “to generate protection mechanisms.”
In the field of Health, the implementation of “a standardized instrument” aimed at detecting gender violence from Primary Care “is planned, which will be the object of a progressive implementation throughout the State territory”, as well as the promotion of specific training in early detection, in suspicion and risk indicators for health professionals, the Social Services network, the educational field or the Labor Inspectorate. It also stipulates the development of a “compulsory” and “massive” training action between the Interior and Equality for the police forces that are in contact with victims and the reinforcement of training for legal operators.
Gender violence “continues to plague our reality”
Vicarious violence, which is carried out by aggressors against children in a context of gender violence, has also been incorporated into this first step of the plan. The intention is to implement the measures on this matter contained in the Law against Violence against Children, which has already entered into force, including the right to have minors heard in all processes, for which the ministries have agreed to draw up a plan aimed at the judicial sphere and social services on children and adolescents as direct victims of gender violence suffered by their mothers. This is something that the law has recognized in Spain since 2015, but to which little practical application has been given.
It is also proposed that the Social Services of the municipalities establish a kind of “one-stop shop” to channel everything that has to do with victims of gender violence, requests for aid and benefits or care for themselves and relatives. And with this attempt to “strengthen close access to economic autonomy and access to housing” for women. In the case of institutional coordination, the measure is the development of a guide that serves to update and improve current protocols and provides for the “promotion” of “rehabilitation and training” programs for convicted offenders. In the environment of the victim and society, it proposes the development of “permanent” campaigns aimed at challenging the population “to act against gender and sexual violence.”
The agreement submitted to the Council of Ministers specifies that it is a first step, and that the plan to improve the institutional response is part of a “broad framework” for review. Because “despite the great progress we are making as a country,” states the text, “violence against women and their sons and daughters continues to plague our reality, a consequence of systemic and historical discrimination, which requires commitment to eliminate it. Unappealable from all public institutions and from society as a whole “.