Ibiza’s Gender Violence Reports down, but Balearics still Worst in Spain.
- 25th November is denoted as the International day for the elimination of Violence against women.
- In 2016 to date, 39 women have died in Spain as a result of gender violence.
- Nick Gibbs
In figures released by Statista and based upon information from the General Council of the Judiciary, there were 129,193 complaints of gender violence throughout Spain in 2015.
This equates to a ratio of 52 women in every 10,000 as an average across the country. In a record that we will not be proud of, the Balearic islands had the highest reporting rate at 82.5 in every 10,000, followed by the Canaries (71) and Mercia (66).
Despite the Balearics topping the list of gender violence the Ibiza Office for Women have reported a decrease on the number of people attended for domestic violence in 2016. Up to November 15th, a total of 415 people sought help from the unit. This represents a 19.4% decrease over the same period in 2015 when 515 were attended.
Of the 415 women, 379 were assisted following reports of gender violence. Of these 228 (60.15%) were for physical and psychological abuse, 132 (17.95%) for psychological abuse, and 7 (1.85%) for sexual assault.
The data was presented at a press conference by Lydia Jurado, Minister of Social Welfare, Health, and Equality, and Olga Guerra, director of the Office for Women. Guerra attributed this decline in the number of women to the characteristics of the tourist season this year, it being longer than usual, saying ” this year we have found that many women have stopped coming to our offices to report problems because they cannot get away from work” however she feels that the Office of Women “continues to be a reflection of what happens in Ibiza’s society.”
During the press conference, the Minister Lydia Jurado talked of several initiatives being promoted by her department to combat violence against women. “The objective is to promote preventive measures against gender violence, promoting social awareness and involvement, and anticipate cases of such violence, insisting on primary prevention,” said Jurado.
The Minister also welcomed the Reaccionem initiative of the Government of the Balearic social pact against male/macho violence (see column right)
Whenever considering figures relating to any crime of violence, particularly where a large proportion is likely to be domestic violence it is important to consider that the figures can only relate the level of reporting and not necessarily the underlying level of crimes committed.
For example, an increasing trend in the number of crimes reported could, but does not necessarily, indicate that the victims of those crimes are finding it easier to come forward and report them through initiatives to tackle the problem, whereas historically they may have felt unable to do anything other than suffer in silence.
A similar situation of a sharp increase in reports occurred in the UK following the opening of the ChildLine service.
I am not suggesting one way or the other whether this factor is affecting figures in Ibiza or the Balearics, just that it needs to be considered.
I am sure that there are other factors that could affect local and regional figures, but Women’s office director Olga Guerra’s view that a decrease in referrals is due to an extended tourist season and so women finding it hard to attend their office seems pretty weak at best.
That extended season applies to a small percentage of Ibiza’s workforce. Is she really saying that the 20% drop in referrals, 100 women, fall into the category of ‘I would report gender violence if I was working May to mid October, but wouldn’t report it if working April to the end of October’? Does that category even exist?
Though complacency would be a dangerous thing, it would be better to hope that the drop in reports is a drop in the crime itself. If this was the case the Consell’s Women’s Office would deserve some of the credit for their initiatives, as would the Education Authority for their work in schools. Maybe then the Balearics can rid ourselves of this most unwanted chart topping position.
The Reaccionem initiative is a project by The Government of the Balearic Islands that encourages all citizens, public and private entities to join a ‘Social Pact Against Violence’.
It wants as many people as possible to sign a pledge to the Pact. Signing up is simple. After selecting to do so as an individual or organisation you are presented with a brief point by point manifesto (translated example below). Providing you are in agreement with the contents and are prepared to give a commitment to put those principles into practice, you simply register your details and that is that.
Though we are unsure how long the initiative has been running, to date there are a rather underwhelming 2308 individuals and 156 companies and organisations pledged.
For more information …
- We express a strong rejection and condemnation of the machista violence and the foundations of inequality that supports it.
- We recognize the different ways of exercising sexist violence and the diversity of the people who suffer it.
- We are committed to actively involve ourselves in the search for and construction of a (workplace/world) free from sexist violence.
- We will make it visible that male violence does not belong to the private sphere, but is a problem of the whole society, both men and women.
- We recognize that inequalities are rooted in the idea of the superiority of men over women and in the imposition of a single model of being and behaving according to the gender to which we belong.
- We will support women who have suffered or suffer from sexist violence, and will respect their decisions and the complex processes in which they are immersed.
- We will require institutions to ensure the necessary protection and support for affected women and their children, as well as the people who depend on them, by providing adequate resources and effective coordination.
- We will work to ensure that future generations are built on the basis of respect and equal and non-discriminatory treatment based on sex, sexual orientation or gender identity.
- We will reject machista aggression and denounce situations of inequality and violence of which we are aware.
- In short, we are committed to building a citizenship respectful of diversity, free from any kind of macho violence, open and inclusive from a proactive attitude.