Spain is serious about combating domestic violence

October 2015 was Domestic Violence Awareness Month, and although you may not have seen many people sporting the color purple to show their support in the United States, the scene was different in Spain.

Although Spain doesn’t call October domestic violence awareness month, there are enough cases there to have half a year dedicated to raising awareness.

Since 2011, when 73 women were killed from domestic violence, there has been increased awareness in Spain, according to a New York Times article about Spain’s ongoing struggle with it.

“We teach about it in schools now. There have been cases where mothers and children have been given new identities because of domestic violence,” said Maria-Jose León, a professor at the University of Málaga.

With families in the Spanish version of the witness protection program due to domestic violence, they live up to being ranked 11th in the world for assault.

The United States is ranked first.

In the United States, we don’t see a lot of domestic crimes in our national news,” said student Katie Vandermeer of Arizona. “We have bigger problems showing up on our national news. Something like that would show up on a more local news station unless it was an ongoing trial.”

“That’s because America is like six countries in one. The local news in Holland is the national news in Holland,” said Katherine Bakker, from Netherlands.

As it turns out, Spain isn’t the only European country having problems with domestic assault. In Denmark, though, the roles are a bit reversed.

    “Last year there was a case in Denmark where a wife stabbed her husband with a fire poker and he was hospitalized for it,” said Caspar Jensen, a student studying in Spain from Denmark. “When you think about domestic violence, you automatically assume it is the man. In Denmark, we see many crimes in the news from women committing domestic assault.”

On Nov. 1 in Madird, Spain’s capitol, there was a walk to raise awareness for domestic violence.

According to an article in Business Insider, members of regional feminist organizations, Spain’s main political parties and trade unions were marching.

The march was lead by a mother whose daughter was murdered by her abusive ex-husband in 2003.

“There are events like these all over Spain. There have been more than 84 crimes like this just this year,” said León.

Recently, major landmarks in Spain like city hall and the Cibeles Fountain in Madrid have been covered in purple light in commemoration of those who suffered from domestic violence and gender-based violence.

In October in the United States, to raise awareness for domestic violence month, The Huffington Post released an article saying that the number of troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan between the years of 2001 and 2012 was 6,488 and that the number of women who were murdered by their male partners during that time was 11,766.

“It’s a major problem everywhere. Everyone just has their different ways of getting the message out,” Jensen said.


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