Balearics domestic violence hotline protects expats and local women

Published:  8 May at 6 PM
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Tagged: Spain
A Balearics domestic violence hotline has seen an increase in calls since the lockdown began.

One concern expressed by experts when the lockdowns in Spain began was the risk of an increase in cases of domestic violence. Sadly, the prediction soon became a fact, with 569 calls registered at the IbDona Balearic Women’s Institute between mid-March and May 5. The service also received a number of WhatsApp messages, a 15 per cent increase on the same period last year. According to a spokeswoman for the Institute, 75 per cent of the calls were from first-time callers.

Some 14 per cent of the calls had been emergencies, and the majority were from Spanish women aged between 31 and 40 years. Most countries which instigated lockdowns as a response to the spread of the coronavirus expressed concerns about a potential increase in domestic violence, especially if alcohol bans were in place at the same time. Spain and its islands prioritised the dissemination of information to women victims, including information about asking for help, psychological assistance and their legal rights in the case of a violent assault.

According to the Institute, also included in their brief are women working in ‘feminine’ professions such as childcare and domestic work as well as prostitution.Those needing help are advised to go to the nearest pharmacy and ask for a Mask-19, alerting the pharmacist to contact a 112 emergency number. This launches the Institute’s action protocol and ensures protection and privacy for those at risk.
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