Spanish embassies and consulates attended 260 new cases of violence against women in 2020

Spain’s consular offices abroad attended to 260 new cases of violence against Spanish women in 2020. These 260 new cases refer to the opening of new case files (one for each Spanish woman attended), and hence it is necessary to add the attention given by the consular services to those cases opened previously. 90% of the cases correspond to cases of violence by current or former partner, 8% to sexual violence and the remaining 2% to other cases of violence as defined in the Istanbul Convention.

20 Spanish women and 15 minors have also been repatriated. In these cases, direct material assistance has been provided. Furthermore, the mobility restrictions as a result of the current health crisis have also made it more difficult for Spanish women who are victims of violence to leave under their own means, and hence the consular offices have also performed a great number of support arrangements, such as applications for special authorisations and assistance in performing PCR tests.

Over the last two years, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, European Union and Cooperation (Spanish acronym: MAEC) has endeavoured to improve consular assistance for victims abroad – a group that is particularly vulnerable since they are a long way from their family environment and in a cultural context that is often alien. With this aim in mind, the figure of the Coordinator for Violence against Women Abroad was set up in May 2019, under the Directorate-General for Spaniards Abroad and Consular Affairs. Since then, specific training has been given on this matter for public servants posted abroad and to new diplomatic trainees. The implementation of a one-off remote psychological assistance service in Spanish is also worthy of mention in this time, and the signing of an agreement between the MAEC and the Foundation of the General Council for Spanish Lawyers to provide free legal aid to Spanish women who propose to return to our country, among other initiatives.

Within the framework of the inter-ministerial Action Protocol on Attention to Spanish Women who are victims of Gender-based Violence Abroad of 2015, collaboration with the Government Delegation to Combat Gender-based Violence and with the Embassy Departments for Work, Social Security and Migration has been stepped up through different communication and training actions.

On 25 January, the Joint Committee on Monitoring Protocols approved the annual Action Plan for 2021, which contains 19 measures to improve coordination, training and public information regarding this service.

More information on assistance provided to victims of gender-based violence abroad can be found of the following link:

 MAEC Video on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: 









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