by Staff Reporter
ISABEL Llinás, director of the Balearic Institute for Women, yesterday welcomed the new court specialising in domestic violence, which opened in Palma yesterday, but she said that it was “insufficient” and there should be at least two. She also said that the court should have sufficient staff to cope with the demand, from the viewpoint of the new legislation which provides legal, psychological and social backup in cases of domestic violence. Without the specialists in the various fields involved, she said, the court will not be able to do its job properly.
However, she went on to say that the help which this court will provide, with its rapid response to any woman filing a complaint of domestic violence, is “unquestionable.” But, she added, “we must be aware of the difficulties” facing the new court, which “will not have an easy task in developing its work in view of the volume of complaints.” Last year, nearly 4'000 complaints of domestic violence were filed here.
Llinas pointed out that “this is a very high number of complaints and it will be impossible for a single court to attend them.” She also spoke of the difficulties caused by being an island region. Women of Minorca, Ibiza and Formentera who file domestic violence complaints “won't be able to come to Majorca,” Llinas said, and it will be the ordinary courts which continue to handle their cases. Llinas said that next week she will be having talks with representatives of the court and other public institutions, putting at their disposal the government's social resources. Magistrate Marta Iglesias will be in charge of the court, which is expected to handle 5'000 penal and 500 civil cases in its first year.
So far this year one woman in the Balearics has died at the hands of her partner.
by Irene Taylor
ON paper the new court should speed up hearings of domestic violence cases and provide better protection for women, including restraining orders, safe houses and quicker police response. But like so many good ideas, the reality shows a different picture: the new court has only been open one day and already the experts are pointing out that it does not have enough specialist staff to handle the enormous volume of work it faces.


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