Jesùs Caldera and Maria Teresa Fernàndez de laVega. / manuel escalera
Thè govemment approved Friday 10 urgent measures to fight
domestic abuse until a more comprehensive law is passed sooie time later this year.
One of thè measures approved yesterday entaiis increasing
thè number of law enforcement
officers assigned to victim protection duties, who now number
120, Labor and Social Affairs Minister Jesùs Caldera said in a
press conference following thè cabinet meeting. There will be 200
national police agents, 250 Civil Guard agents and locai police
officers involved in thè fight against domestic violence, he
added. So far this year, 20 women have died at thè hands of their
spouses or partners. Thè governing Socialist Party has made thè
fight against domestic abuse a comerstone of its program, promising a comprehensive law to prevent attacks and help victims.
In a recent interview with Thè
New York Times, Prime Minister José Luis Rodriguez Zapatero
went so far as to say he is a "radicai feminist."
Another one of thè measures entaiis stepping up thè surveillanee of alleged aggressors and protecting thè rights ofbattered women. Thè state attorney's office will establish this type ofcrime as
high priority and pay special attention to measures such as thè
suspension of visiting rights for fathers accused of abusing their
partners, or preventive prison for aggressors who break a restraining order.
Càndido Conde-Pumpido, thè attomey generai, said Friday
that women "shouid not be afraid to rcport abuses, because
they will find a very energetic attorney's office that will not let
any cases slip by." Law enforcement and administration officiais will work together to draw a map of risk areas
in each region, to ensure that victims get speedy assistance. There
will be a protocol establishing degrees ofrisk to thè victim so that
agents can pay extra attention to thè more serious cases. Thè map
is also intended to improve coordination among thè police, attorneys and judges.
Remote assistance services will also be available to women
who have restraining orders against partners, said Caldera.
Thè govemment also plans to
encourage active employment policies for abused women, who
will have immediate access to economie and social aid. Every woman who has been granted a protection order will be given a celi
phone to ease communication with thè police so far, oniy 300
women in Spain have been granted phones in such cases.
Thè previous Popular Party administration approved a protection order last August with
added measures to help victims
of abuse, but critics say it has not been enough.
On Tuesday, Spain proposed that thè European Union include
a statement in thè Intergovemmental Conference (IGC), charged with drawing up a European
Constitution, about thè EU's
commitment to preventing domestic violence, diplomatic sources said. If thè IGC included such a statement, thè European
Commission couid propose union-wide initiatives to fight domestic violence.
Fonte: El Pais