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Friday, January 16, 1998 Published at 23:48 GMT


Spain moves to curb domestic violence
image: [ Government action on domestic violence ]
Government action on domestic violence

The Spanish Government has announced emergency measures to combat domestic violence following a national outcry over the brutal killing of a woman by her husband.

The measures came just hours after a 35-year-old woman was knifed to death by her partner.

The measures include more help for victims, quicker trials and a special task force to consider tougher sentences.

Last month a 60-year-old woman was doused with petrol and burnt alive by her husband after she had denounced him on television for repeatedly abusing her.

The killing sparked widespread protests over the level of domestic violence in Spain, where last year more than sixty women were killed by their partners.

A national campaign has been launched to end women's "culture of resignation and silence" by raising awareness, sensitising the public to domestic violence and providing more centres for abused women and affected children.

The Spanish media has been carrying disturbing reports of fresh attacks against women who are either married or living with long term partners almost daily.

More than 60 women died in the violent confrontations with their partners last year and 1,900 others reported being attacked by husbands or boyfriends.

Women's organizations in Spain insist that machismo attitudes of many males is the underlying reason behind the violence.

The issue has gained increasing attention in Spain since the transition from dictatorship to democracy in the mid-1970s.

The change saw a dramatic influx of women into the workforce and a consequent rise in their economic power.

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