A protest against gender-based violence in November 2018.

25-11-2018Miquel À. Cañellas

According to figures from the national interior ministry, 280 cases of gender-based violence were reported in the Balearics in March and April; 223 related to violence against women, while the others involved minors and other family members at risk as well. There was in fact a notable increase in cases involving parents, siblings and children.

Over the two months, the number of reports was 40% lower than in 2019, when there were 467. This decrease runs counter to what had been expected because of confinement. The police believe that one explanation for this was that victims had difficulties in reporting a violent partner, knowing that they would be in confinement with each other for several weeks. Another explanation has to do with bars being closed, especially at night and over weekends. The number of reports does typically increase at weekends. A further factor may have been that parental visits by divorced partners were suspended. These visits are often the cause of conflict.

When the state of alarm started, the General Council of the Judiciary warned that confinement would be a factor in increasing the risk of violence. Some 80% of cases of murder at the hands of a partner or ex-partner occur in a family home.

The number of reports does contrast with a significant increase in the number of calls to the 016 number regarding domestic violence. On certain occasions over the two months, these calls trebled.

In total, the monitoring system in the Balearics has 2,519 active cases. These involve periodic checks by the authorities. The great majority of cases are classified as low risk; there are 232 medium risk cases and nine considered to be high or extreme risk.

At the end of 2019, the Balearics had the highest rate of violence against women in the country. There was a ratio of 109.5 victims for every 10,000 women. The national ratio was 67.3. Valencia, with 90.4, was the region closest to the Balearics.

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