MADRID

WOMEN who are separated or divorced who have been the victims of domestic violence during their marriage or period of living together will be able to claim a widow's pension on the death of their aggressor, Central Government said yesterday.

The latest reform of Social Security laws confirms that women will be entitled to the benefit if it can be determined that they suffered abuse at the time of separation or divorce.

The People's Defence department expressed satisfaction for the move yesterday, saying that it was last year that they had approached Central Government about allowing abused women the right to a widow's pension on the death of their aggressors if they were not entitled to other compensatory pensions.

The department had asked the Secretary of State to investigate after complaints from women saying that the government did not take into consideration the fact that separation or divorce may have been undertaken by victims for their own physical safety or to protect children.

Such women, according to the law of the time, were thereby officially renouncing their rights to a widow's pension. Laura Seara, Director of the Institute of Women, spoke yesterday of a “continued campaign” to uphold the rights of male members of society to the detriment of females. Such inequality, she said, can still be seen in the struggle to obtain justice over domestic violence.

Across Spain, the third quarter of last year was when the highest number of legal complaints over assault in the home were registered since 2007.
Records point to the “considerable number” of foreign women who resort to the law following cases of domestic violence - 35 percent of all claims made during the first half of 2009.