At the headquarters of Anar, the Children and Adolescent Help Foundation, dozens of psychologists respond 24 hours a day to young people’s concerns and problems. In this place since 2009 calls related to gender-based violence have been exposed. Acts of sexism, often associated with adults, affect all ages. The latest figures from the Institute of Statistics did not surprise Diana Diaz, the director of this hotline. As a percentage, the increase in violence affects adolescent girls under the age of 18. Those committed by the deplorable youth from the palace are the most advanced.
Social networks amplify this phenomenon
Diana describes a chilling fact: “Little girls call as soon as they turn 12. We understand that Her boyfriend exercises excessive and fierce control over her. He isolates the girl and asks her to cut ties with her family and friends and asks her to send him a picture every time she goes out to find out where she is and with whom. Half of the calls we get are also about beatings, hair plucking, and pushing young girls down a ladder. »
Specialists insist that this psychological control, regular in sexual violence, increases with adolescents’ use of social networks. Young people themselves understand this. Javier, 18, at a break near his vocational training institute in north Madrid. “I think masculinity is more psychological, I have friends whose girlfriends look at their phones, but the opposite is also trueadmits. I don’t find it good but everyone finds it normal. Much progress has been made against this scourge, but other things have worsened. »
One of her friends, Patricia, prefers to take care of the special courts set up by Spain, where violence against women is judged only by men. If this law were different, and if courts judge battered men as they have battered women, all the better, we can’t differentiate them as such. » Thus, feminist measures based on violence against women are not universally supported and not necessarily understood. One in five young adults doubts the existence of gender violence, according to the FAD-Youth Foundation’s latest measure, which is conducted among young people between the ages of 15 and 29. The figure, which has been on the rise since 2017, shows that Spain, the leading country, still has a long way to go in terms of education at school and within families.
A finding that did not surprise Serra García Dominguez, a judge for ten years on the Special Court for male violence charges in Albacete, in the province of Castel-La Mancha. She is upset to see younger girls become victims of this violence. “They print abusive behavior and are not aware of the crime. What they see as love is not love. She does the analysis, realizing that the environment of young people with social networks, and songs with macho lyrics, can complicate the task. “They find themselves in unequal relationships with the subordination of women to men, and this is violence. And I am not even talking about pornography, which is easily accessible to young people, where harassment of women occurs constantly,” She completes.
Fear of stigma
When the violence becomes physical, this judge worries a lot, especially when the teen refuses to authorize it or denies the facts, while the parents, in amazement, denounce the assaults. For teenage girls, wearing an anti-reconciliation bracelet that is supposed to protect them remains complicated: “They don’t want to be controlled with a cell phone because they feel stigmatized, Sera Garcia Dominguez explains. They also do not want the people around them to know what is happening to them.»
A country that has become a leader in combating gender-based violence
– 2004. Unanimous adoption of a framework law against domestic violence, one of the most protective in the world. This law liberalized complaints, with more than 70,000 lodged in 2015 and 160,000 in 2017.
– 2017. Adoption by all political parties of the “State Pact against Domestic Violence”, worth €1 billion over five years (2018-2022).
– Since January 1, 2022Spain considers all cases of femicide: “domestic”, “sexual”, “social” (after a non-sexual assault) and “proxy” (the killing of a woman as a means of harming another woman).