Expert lays blame for gender violence on politicians

Miguel Lorente (L), former government delegate for Gender Violence, speaking at UIPM summer course. Photo: 20minutos
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• Former gov’t official says politicians failing to tackle violence against women
• Spaniards shrug-off gender violence, while each year more men kill women

Spain is experiencing a complete breakdown in its efforts to combat gender violence because the country’s politicians have not drawn sufficient attention to the problem nor have they made combatting violence against women a top priority, according to forensic specialist and university Miguel Lorente Acosta, formerly the top-ranking government official charged with handling gender violence issues within the Ministry of Equality from 2008-2011.

“When the political system does not focus on a situation so serious that more than 60 women are murdered every year (as a result of gender-specific violence) and more than 700,000 women are mistreated every year, it means that everything has broken down,” Lorente said in a presentation during the annual Summer Course series of lectures at the Universidad Internacional Menéndez Pelayo (UIMP) in Santander.

Noting that government CIS surveys show that just 0.6 percent of Spaniards polled consider gender violence a serious problem, Lorente said it is remarkable that not one of the men arrested in any given year for murdering a women is a recurrent offender, which means that every year Spain is creating a new batch of men who commit gender violence crimes.

“What kind of a society are we creating that every year more men are killing women?” Lorente asked, adding that the problem is not one of individual machos killing women in isolated instances, as portrayed by the government and in Spanish media, but rather a widespread tolerance of machismo that is endemic in Spanish society is what lies at the root of the problem.

► Read More in Spanish at 20minutos and Europa Press …

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