PM decries ‘cruelty’ of Spain’s domestic violence after five murders in a week

PM decries 'cruelty' of Spain's domestic violence after five murders in a week
Photo: Manu Fernandez/POOL/AFP
Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sánchez on Monday denounced as "unacceptable" a spike in domestic violence that saw five women murdered in the past week by their partners or ex-partners.

Among the victims was a 42-year-old Barcelona woman who was stabbed to death by her husband who then killed himself and a pregnant Moroccan woman who was murdered by her partner who called police to confess.

Their deaths bring to 14 the number of women killed in Spain so far this year by their partner or ex-partner, and to 1,092 the total number murdered since the government started keeping a tally in 2003.

“It is a hard reality, an unacceptable reality,” Sanchez said, denouncing the “cruelty” of the five murders.

“Spain unfortunately suffers a misogynist scourge which means there are men who kill women for being women.

“We can’t look the other way while day after day these murders happen, we must not feel oblivious to pain and fear felt by thousands of women in our country.”

Campaigners attribute the spike in murders to the easing of virus restrictions following the end of a state of emergency on May 9th.

Women are at greater risk of physical violence from an abusive partner when they attempt to leave and this was likely happening more often now that curbs on movement have been lifted, they said.

Spanish politicians have pursued successive programmes to address domestic violence since 1997 when 60-year-old Ana Orantes was beaten, thrown over a balcony and then burned to death by her ex-husband after repeatedly complaining to authorities about his violent behaviour.

Spain’s parliament in 2004 overwhelmingly approved Europe’s first law that specifically cracks down on gender-based violence.

Read more about gender violence in Spain

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