Tens of thousands in cities across Spain marched Sunday to protest machista violence against women, joining millions of women and their supporters marching in cities around the world to make their voices heard on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women 2018.
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In Madrid, thousands of women, men and children convened by the Foro de Madrid contra la Violencia a las Mujeres (Madrid Forum against Violence Toward Women) and 80 women’s organizations marched from the Plaza de Cibeles to the Puerta del Sol, where organizers read out a declaration remembering and condemning the deaths of 44 women killed so far this year in incidents of domestic and gender violence in Spain.
The marches in some 40 cities and municipalities, including Madrid, Barcelona, Sevilla, Santiago, Zaragoza, Palma de Mallorca and others, were held as Amnesty International issued a scathing report on what the human rights organization claims is inadequate support from government institutions to combat gender violence in Spain.
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Titled Ya es hora que me creas (‘It’s time you believe me’), the report denounces what Amnesty researchers claim is a scarcity of official public statistics on the extent of domestic and gender violence in Spain, the lack of coordinated and comprehensive public policies to protect the rights of women and girls and a paucity of government funding to create specialized programs aimed at helping prevent and assisting the victims of gender violence in Spain.
Representatives from most political parties participated in Sunday’s marches in Madrid, Barcelona and other cities. But critics blame those same parties represented in Spain’s Congress for moving too slowly to address the issue and provide legislation and the funding to curb incidences of gender violence and domestic abuse.
According to government figures published by the Spanish press, denunciations of incidences of gender violence are rising in Spain but investigations are lagging. During 2017, figures from the Ministry of Justice show that there were more than 2,000 reports of sexual assault or rape nationwide, but investigations were launched and/or a perpetrator detained in only 68 percent of those cases.
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