Spain’s Labour and Social Affairs Minister Jesus Caldera has said parliament’s adoption of a new law aimed at stopping violence against women was the beginning of a “long and arduous process”. The law was adopted unanimously on Wednesday, to the delight of women’s rights activists present in the lower house. Around 100 women are killed by their current or ex-partners each year in Spain. That places the country about mid-place in European statistics on the issue.
Spanish authorities have recently cracked down on domestic violence with a campaign including a television clip. The government of Prime Minister Jose Luis Rodriguez Zapatero has also introduced equality classes into all state schools. Once the law comes into effect early next year, when a woman makes a phone call reporting her attacker, the police will act immediately to protect her with specialist domestic violence teams. A judge will be able to place a restraining order on the alleged abuser within a day.