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Arrests for gender-based violence up 2.6% in 2019

Increase in reports of attempted murder and sexual abuse in intimate relationships noted as Catalonia commemorates International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women


25 November 2019 02:26 PM


Cristina Tomàs White|Barcelona

The number of men arrested for gender-based violence offenses in Catalonia is up 2.6% compared to the same time last year, with a total of 4,538 detentions according to the latest Catalan Mossos d'Esquadra police statistics.

There has also been a 43.8% increase in reported instances of attempted murder – from 16 to 23 – and a 42.9% increase – from 28 to 40 – of sexual abuse in intimate relationships this year, amongst the 11,103 gender-based violence reports filed accounting for 19,868 criminal offenses thus far.

In 2019, 8 women have been murdered in Catalonia – a femicide more than the same time last year – leaving 11 children orphaned.

Andrea García, the head of the Mossos' Victim Services division, describes the increase in arrests as "significant" and says the greater number of reports filed is positive because it makes visible how "sexual violence in intimate relationships is yet another form of control, subjugation of women, and sexism."

García also encourages women to report not only physical violence, but psychological abuse as well, even though it may be harder to demonstrate: "It is more difficult but not impossible to prove, but it should be reported because it is not less serious than a visible injury."

Mossos received 7,870 police protection order requests and provide protection to 100 women, 11 of whom are at very high risk of suffering gender-based abuse, 13 are in high-risk situations, and another 76 are at medium risk.  

November 25: International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women

Monday, as every November 25, is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, with various events taking place throughout the day raising awareness of the issue.

Around 10:30 am, the Barcelona city council, which has created a website detailing the resources available to women suffering gender-based abuse, held a small institutional event at Plaça Sant Jaume and Barcelona mayor Ada Colau will be presenting the November 25 Prize at 5 pm for projects rejecting gender-based violence against migrant women. 

Novembre Feminista organized a march under the heading, "In the face of sexist violence, feminist self-organization," which began at 6:30 pm in Barcelona.

Thousands of people took off from Jardinets de Gràcia and finished at Plaça Catalunya with the reading of a manifesto, video projections, and speeches. Casa Batlló, Antoni Gaudí's famous modernist building on Passeig de Gràcia, was lit up with purple lights on the night, following the purple colour scheme of the march.

Drum kits, dancers, and chanting gave the demonstration a festive atmosphere despite touching on such a serious subject. 

In Tarragona, around midday, shoes were left in front of the city council headquarters to remember the women who have been murdered as a result of gender-based violence and members of different parties read the Catalan government-backed manifesto rejecting this kind of violence.

The northern Catalan city of Girona saw an institutional event held at 1 pm with council, provincial council, and Catalan government representatives, while the Plataforma Feminista Gironina has called on a joint concentration of people dressed in black with purple scarves to flock to the city's courthouses at 7:30 pm.


  • A map marking 2019's femicides and shoes placed in front of the Tarragona city council honor women lost to gender-based violence (by Eloi Tost)

  • A map marking 2019's femicides and shoes placed in front of the Tarragona city council honor women lost to gender-based violence (by Eloi Tost)