Cabinet approves new emergency measures to fight domestic violence

Government will assign more police and Civil Guard agents to protect victims of abuse










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.

& lt;P align=justify>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

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

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