Across Europe campaigners have been highlighting the plight of women abused at home by their partners or husbands as they mark the international day against domestic violence. In the Galician region of Spain one group laid out black and white gloves to symbolise both the physical and psychological harm a man can inflict on a woman.
A United Nations-backed report released to coincide with the event calls for urgent action to stop what it found to be a widespread, deep-rooted and largely hidden problem worldwide. In France, for example, one woman in ten suffers domestic abuse. “I left home because he was hitting me and threatening me, that made me afraid, I was worried for myself and for my child because there was all this noise and shouting in the house,” one victim explained.
In the UK statistics have reportedly shown that a woman is murdered by her current or ex-partner every three days. Emotive television campaigns have been launched in Spain and the UK to bring the problem to a wider public and encourage debate.