Palma.—Speaking prior to the celebration of International Day Against Domestic Violence today, the Balearic Institute for Women (IBD) confirmed that from January to November this year, 1'316 cases have been brought by women in the region and 88 on behalf of minors, the children of the victims.

According to domestic violence watchdogs, 392 protection orders have been sought in the Balearics over the same period. The IBD is attempting to give a higher profile to the different programmes and help services which are available to victims such as a 24-hour help line (971-178989). This service, offering free advice, has responded to calls from 1'426 women so far this year. Free psychological counselling is also available said the IBD to women older than 14 who have suffered any kind of mistreatment or sexual abuse, and there is special assistance for children who are caught up in the violence. Refuges for victims have housed 87 women and 72 children this year in the Balearics.

In the spotlight today will be Project “Iris” which is a data base on victims made available to the 112 Emergency Services so that they can respond quickly to calls for help. Meanwhile Partido Popular (PP) government representatives, including Martí Sansaloni, the region's Minister for Health, Family and Social Welfare led an official protest act in Palma yesterday, recalling that 20 women have died as a result of domestic violence in the Balearics since 2003.

PP spokeswoman Marga Durán highlighted the effort that has been made by regional government over the past 15 years to bring an end to domestic violence.

At yesterday's official protest in Plaza Juan Carlos I in Palma, representatives pointed out that those who know crimes of domestic violence are taking place but fail to report them, have the same status as accomplices to the crime.

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