'Machismo Kills': ASURGEin Murders of Women Alarms Spain
Source: The New York Times
Generating worldwide concern, the number of femicides in Spain have significantly spiked following a strong presence of sexism and violence. With less than two months into the new year, eight women have been murdered by current or previous romantic or sexual partners since January 1st, 2023. This is a concerning statistic considering throughout 2022, there was a total of 49 murders of the same type in the entire year.
Women in Spain are fearful, yet they lack hope that they will be protected from this type of violence. Marina Talavera, a Madrid Photographer, told the New York Times, “we have always suffered from fear and violence. I have little hope.” These words resonate deeply with countless women around the world who face the same unchanging fears. Annually in Spain, around 100 women are murdered, half of them by intimate partners. In 2022, 21 out of the 49 women killed by an intimate partner had previously reported abuse or violence by their killer prior to their death.
This is not the only issue that Spain faces, however. An emergency phone number for victims of gender based violence experienced 94,000 calls in 2022, a 7% increase compared to 2021. Startling to many of the citizens of Spain, women are banding together to garner attention and recognition for this problem. A result of the recent murders, protesters have taken to the streets across the European country and are putting pressure on the Spanish government to protect their women. As of now, many women do not feel protected by the government. Rosa San Segundo, a professor in Madrid, told the New York Times that, “the lack of protection that women experience comes from the fear they feel when they report gender violence.” Much like other women around the world, many women who report their abusers in Spain do not see any justice or protection.
Citizens are asking the Spanish government, not only to do more, but to do better. The government has stated that it will create checkpoints in healthcare settings in more rural areas for domestic violence to be reported, and has also implemented a requirement for police to inform women of any previously reported cases of abuse against their partner when they report abuse. Additionally, the government has requested the courts to honor the requests of women who ask for their abusers to wear tracking bracelets when they are released from jail. While this is a good start, these changes will only help women to feel protected if every woman who faces abuse is made to feel safe enough to report any violence.
Citation: Kwai, Isabella, and José Bautista. “'Machismo Kills': A Surge in Murders of Women Alarms Spain.” The New York Times. The New York Times, February 17, 2023. https://www.nytimes.com/2023/02/17/world/europe/spain-women-murders-protests.html?searchResultPosition=2.