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March in Madrid against domestic violence

Translated Monday 9 November 2015, by Ciaran Edwards

Thousands of people from all over Spain marched in Madrid on Saturday to demand more measures against domestic violence, which has resulted in another 41 deaths in 2015.

Shouting "We’re not all here – the dead are missing!" or "The fight will be feminist or there’ll be no fight at all", the demonstrators – men and women – marched in the centre of the capital, responding to the call from more than 400 feminist associations. In this pre-election campaign period before the general election on 20th December, representatives from the main trade unions and all political parties were present, including the head of the socialist opposition, Pedro Sanchez, and the leader of Podemos, Pablo Iglesias.

"The economic crisis means that a lot of women aren’t leaving their attackers because they can’t afford to," suggested protestor Marisa Teijero (61), stating that "more than ever, public funds need to be released". According to the Spanish government’s data, in 2015, 41 women have died at the hands of their partner or ex-partner. Only seven of the victims had previously filed a complaint.

Stabbed, beaten or even burned, each woman had their case reported in the media, in a country that is very conscious of the issue. Spain has, however, been held up by the European Council as an example, to be seen as a pioneer, having adopted an anti-domestic violence law, which came into effect in 2005.

Between January 2003 and May 2015, 779 women were killed by their spouse or ex-spouse. The number of victims has been getting lower each year since 2008. From 71 in 2003, the number of victims dropped to 54 in 2014.

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