Rural gender violence largely ignored, says AMFAR

Thirteen of 22 gender-violence related deaths in 2017 have occurred in rural areas. Image: AMFAR via AgroCLM
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• Rural women’s rights org notes 59 pct of 2017 deaths occurred in rural zones
• Women living in small towns, villages less likely to denounce violence, abuse

A non-governmental organization advocating on behalf of women and families in rural areas has said that given then amount of violence toward women that occurs in those areas, not enough attention has been paid to the need to prevent domestic violence and protect women from their aggressors in rural areas and smaller towns throughout Spain.

Lola Merino, the president of Spain’s Federación de Mujeres y Familias del Ámbito Rural (the Federation of Women and Families in Rural Areas, or AMFAR), noted 59 percent, or 13 of the 22 murders of women at the hands of their partners or former partners occurring so far this year in Spain have occurred in rural areas.

Speaking to reporters during the second meeting of the federal government’s National Pact against Gender Violence (Pacto de Estado contra la Violencia de Género), Merino also said that 17 percent of all women who file gender violence complaints in Spain reside in rural areas — but that the number is believed to be far higher, because the number of women in small towns and rural areas willing to come forth to file complaints continues to be much lower than in urban areas.

Researchers have said that women in rural areas are more reluctant to report gender-violence abuse for several reasons, including the power of extended family ties in rural areas that tends to discourage reporting gender-violence and domestic abuse, the fact that aggressors feel more secure or even respected and less likely to be questioned by their peers in small town and village environments and the belief that neighbors are less likely to intervene in what are seen as “domestic” household matters.

► Read More in Spanish at Europa Press and AgroCLM …

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