Spain has a track record for violence against women.
That is the kind of domestic violence in which the perpetrator is always male and the abused female. Whenever a woman dies on the hands of her loved one it makes the first page, reminding the rest of how many like her died this year.
The Spanish society is becoming more and more aware of this and it has had an impact on the law.
Over the last few years there have been many changes in the Spanish Criminal Code regarding gender abuse or gender violence (another way of talking about ‘violencia contra la mujer’).
The sentences are getting stiffer and the protection to the claimant is more absolute.
Nowadays, if somebody reports to the police about an argument or a heated discussion between two people and they are man and woman and there is or has been a relationship between them they’ll very likely arrest the man on the spot.
The presence of alcohol or recreational drugs will make that more likely.
Now, even if the woman doesn’t press charges or insists that it has all been a misunderstanding the police may very well continue the arrest.
The reason behind that is there is an appalling number of female killed by their partners where the police intervened but the victim never pressed charges.
Now they decide to continue even against the ‘victim’s’ wishes in order to reduce the odds of the situation escalating in the future.
After a night in the police station’s jail, both man and woman will be questioned by the police.
Again, even if she doesn’t press charges and both agree it is not what it may have looked like, the proceeding will follow.
The court proceeding ensued is generally a fast one, but the risk is still present even without the victim acquiescence.
A witness to the argument that interprets it as too violent or even the police officer’s statement can make the case for the prosecutor.
Coming to these trials alone or just assisted by the Public Defender is risky; especially it is not taken seriously. Charges of gender violence have almost always serious jail time attached.
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