It's a floor, clear walls, full of cuartitos with sofas and a child's drawings. Is in the south of Madrid, far from the radar of the men who mistreat the women who once said they love. Here, 15 specialists serve more than a thousand victims and their children. There is a generalized pattern: “most of The women that we have never denounced,” explains the responsible of this resource is the comprehensive network of municipal attention to gender-based violence. With therapy and time will teach them to try to survive while they become strong to denounce or to get out of the spiral of violence without a judge. There are recommendations that surprise: “If you get hit, don't get in the kitchen. There are no knives. It is a much more dangerous place than the room of the children”.
Since Spain passed a law against gender-based violence in 2004, the number of convictions grows but has declined the number of complaints. There is a statistical black has caused concern and changes. The number murdered annually has just dropped –are 972 from which there is official data, 44 in 2018-. And three out of four fatal victims is not reported. Why?
“If you get hit, don't get in the kitchen. There are no knives. It is more dangerous for the kids room”.
The last Macroencuesta of Violence against Women shows that nearly half of women assaulted do not report it because they consider that your case is not serious enough. The dozen specialists and affected interviewed for this report added that once you have taken the step, judges and police put in question his word. First they doubt them, then you doubt them. The institutions want to correct this problem and that is why the recent State Pact against Gender-based Violence includes improvements in the training of judges and extend the status of victim to those who still have not filed a complaint, in order to protect them.
Says the head of the center located in Madrid, who requested anonymity because he has received threats, which the victims will curb the fear or the shame, the emotional and economic dependence, the lack of trust in the judges or the fear suffered by their children. Rachel and Isabel are two of the women who come to this center. Along with Lucia, attended by Famuvi (Federation of Associations of Assistance to Victims of Sexual and Gender based Violence), detailed the stones that are found the way.
Rachel: “Reporting to us has punished me and my son”
he Looked into the eyes of her husband and said, “I do not want to continue with you.” And that, says Raquel, began his odyssey. Was 2014. For a month “rose to the level of aggressiveness”. She slept hugging the bag to prevent it from stripping away more documents, he got in the night on the bed and tried to force it, by day it was pushed. Rachel fled with his two year old son: “I left with the child and with what job.”
“After the complaint, begins the calvary. Are asked to collected evidence, which would not happen if it were a theft”
This woman high and eloquent presented a demand for separation. Or he went for the head to report. Went to the police station on the recommendation of your attorney. There he was told that if you do not denounce it, they would do so ex officio. Denounced, was activated the protocol. Arrested the husband and the next day a trial was held fast. He was acquitted for lack of evidence.
“The victims believe many times that the complaint is sufficient, but there begins the calvary. Ask them to collect themselves evidence of the offence, which would not happen if it were a theft,” explains María Naredo, director general of Prevention and Care against Gender Violence of the Madrid city Council. “It has been consolidated the idea of suffering physical violence, but they do not take into account the psychological or sexual. In many cases judgements are made fast. And what evidence you can get in 72 hours? It is very difficult to prove a violence usual in so little time,” he adds.
Three months later, Rachel and her ex-husband appeared at the first trial to resolve the custody of the child of both. He requested joint custody and the judge granted it: a week with each parent.
One of the days of the exchange, she recorded with the cell phone while I was playing the identity card of the child. I wanted to leave a record of who gave you the document. The ex-husband understood that the video was about him. “He went out angry and shouting: ‘I'm Not shooting, I do not record’. I chased it down the stairs. He pushed Me against a wall. I oriné over fear”. Results: a sprain, and the cardinals by the body. They put a restraining order of 100 meters, but has not reviewed the custody. May not be close but they have to be swapped to the son. She asked for a meeting point: “I was told that there was no plaza, which were saturated”. From a year ago exchanged his son with the help of a neighbor.
Rachel wanted to see everything in a crystal ball: “I Would have done everything the same for dignity. But it is necessary to prepare women for this”
Rachel, who asks to be listed without a surname, it goes to this city resource to the psychologists will give you guidelines to treat your child. You can not see a child psychologist because that requires also the permission of the father. The State agreement includes a change in the Civil Code, not yet enabled, so that the children of abusers are convicted receive psychological care without parental consent. “Have behavior problems, has become aggressive, but no one sees it. Having denounced us has punished me and my son.” Four years after, says that he would have liked to see everything from a crystal ball: “I Would have done everything Kaçak İddaa the same for dignity. But now I know that I need to prepare women for this. Tell them that when you get to court you are going to look with a magnifying glass and you will increase the self-esteem of the abuser. You will feel unpunished”.The hands of Lucy, a victim served by Famuvi. paco paredes
Lucia: “The family I blame myself”
It happens to one out of every five victims, and happened also to Lucia. He fell silent nearly 30 years, among other reasons, for shame: “What you suffer alone. In front of friends and family, forces the smile to make it seem that nothing happens”, explains the asturian, who chooses a fictitious name.
“I have spent my whole life trying not to be angry, because if I did the punishment was for me,” she says, in therapy with Famuvi in the aftermath of the abuse of her husband and by what came after. “If I broke a dish or throwing a bottle against a glass, I trailed behind like a jackass to ask for forgiveness. When I did something very extreme, calling for the 016, I desahogaba a little, hung up the phone and continue”. Until that afternoon seven years ago, in which she cameor to street home with a gift for a family member. He didn't like, and put it in the living room. You threw the bag, he threw the mobile to the floor and shattered. Broke a door, struck him a push, and she ran off. It was night. He entered the police station near his house, crying. And put your first complaint in a room with more people.Lucia, back. paco paredes
That night her husband slept in the dungeon. There was a speedy trial and the judge ordered a restraining order of two years. “I sent the child to help you in what you need. Threw him out after telling him that we was going to sink”. The sinking, has Lucy, it began with economic strangulation. Left to pay the fees of the house and his part in the support of your child.
“you Had to have separate as all over the world. I don't know why you had to denounce,” he said to Lucia his family
Beset by debts, Lucia entered the list of defaulters. In addition to this, the incomprehension of his relatives: “you Had to have separate as all over the world. I don't know why you had to denounce,” he said. “My family blames me.” But what hurts most is the contempt of your child. “I abused my husband, but my son suffered more than I did. We create a mess in the head that do not know escape. It is already quite a bit higher but it doesn't yet support that we are divorced and he pays for it with me. Says that the culprit is me. It has become a new executioner.”
Elizabeth: “I was paralyzed by the fear that I have to”
For years, Isabel felt his puppet. He smelled her blonde hair when she came to work to see if it had scent of another. He screamed at night and woke up the children if she refused to have sex. Isabel was clear for the first time a decade ago, when he started driving like a madman with the whole family in the car: he, she, the child, and the two small. Came trembling out of there and she left with her parents. Convinced her to return: “I said I could not live without me, you are dying”. They spent three years more. Elizabeth decided to divorce without making any noise. It is a common output, ensures the director of the resource of the municipal network in madrid, where Isabel is still a therapy as a victim: “The majority chooses to be separated without that exit to the light in order not to anger the beast”. Isabel did so for fear: “I was paralyzed by the fear that I have, more by my children than by myself.”
“What is most difficult to explain to victims are complaints crusades or the cases in which all of them turns against”
One day he went with a neighbor to deliver their children to the ex. He got out of the car and threatened her. Reported to ask for a restraining order. “It was archived because there was testimony opposites: that of the neighbor against its new partner. I felt helpless. Do you think that they are going to investigate, but the judges do not bother”. Second attempt. Went to the office of the Prosecutor of Minors to report that their children also were in danger. “I went back to filing, again by conflicting statements,” he said. Two years ago, after a psychological report official that he doubted of his condition of victim, gave him the custody of the children to the father.
“This is the most difficult to explain to the victims, when there are allegations crusades or in cases in which all of them turns against”, explains Manuela Torres, a lawyer specializing in gender-based violence from 25 years ago. “It's devastating, and as the world turned upside down. You're going to report and as a result, imputed, or you can lose your children”.
Isabel ensures that the report that she lost custody of her children two years ago was done in just hours and you have been denied re-review it since then. Only sees them on weekends, but ensures that it will continue fighting. You no longer have fear.
The director of the center for victims of Madrid explains the evolution of the women: “When they arrive, tell them that you have a trash can full, and start to clean it. They are frightened because when it is removed it hurts and it smells a lot, but in the end it can be cleaned. Of this can get you out”.
Elizabeth has a new partner and another baby: “Now I am a person, independent, I do what I believe in. I hope to find a judge who is reviewing my case to be able to spend more time with my children. I'm going to keep fighting”.Elizabeth, served in a resource of the network comprehensive municipal attention to gender-based violence in Madrid. santi burgos