Teresa Peramato (Salamanca) is the prosecutor in charge of coordinating all the prosecutors of gender violence in our country. On August 1, she participated in the crisis committee convened by the Ministry of Equality to analyze the latest cases: 8 murdered in another tragic month of July, the worst since 2019.
What fails so that every month in our country there are victims of sexist violence? We are facing structural violence, rooted in an absolutely patriarchal structure and, therefore, the first thing we should achieve is to change mentalities. That mentality of superiority of men over women in affective relationships. It is very difficult to eradicate gender violence as long as we live in patriarchal structures and yet we have made a lot of progress in Spain in recent years. Let us hope that there is no risk of backsliding. In your opinion, what should we improve to prevent sexist murders from occurring? It has been greatly improved. We have to think that we came from a panorama prior to Law 1/2004, the Comprehensive Law on Gender Violence, where we did not have any type of infrastructure or specialization to fight against this violence. Since then we have had lots of legal tools, more training and more means to give a more adequate response to the problem. We would have to improve in inter-institutional coordination and in awareness of a reality on which we cannot put ourselves in profile. In 2006 there were 76 femicides and in recent years the figures are 50-51 murders. It is true that we still register many victims but denying that we have advanced hurts us.In what percentage do you think education influences the profile of an abuser? Education is the key. It is fundamental to deconstruct patterns that place women in a situation of inferiority in all areas of life, including in the family. It is important that families assume the obligation to set an example of equality and respect for our sons and daughters.Are prosecutors in Spain sufficiently trained in a gender perspective? The Attorney General's Office has been making an absolutely firm commitment to training in the gender perspective of the entire prosecutorial career for many years. Not only for prosecutors fighting gender-based violence in specialized courts but in all jurisdictions. A 52-hour online gender perspective training program is offered in all jurisdictions. In addition, much has been deepened in the gender perspective for colleagues who access the fiscal career. And we also do continuous training every year through different programs. Many of the victims of gender violence fear physical and psychological reprisals when denouncing their aggressors and many others face the loss of economic resources if they want to get out of the hell they live. For those victims who are afraid of what their aggressor may do to them when they report it, we have several tools, mainly, the different precautionary measures to protect them, from provisional detention to those of distance and even telematic control. Of the 100% of protection orders that were requested last year, more than 70% were granted. However, a large part of the protection orders that are denied is because the risk has not been detected and, in many cases, because the victims have invoked their right not to testify. We have to strengthen support for victims so that during the criminal procedure they are safe and endure this trance that for them means pain and an ordeal. There the support network is very important. Hay many offices of attention to victims and coordination between the courts and the Prosecutor's Office with these offices is essential, because they give them psychological and legal support. We have to have qualitative studies, they are not just quantitative. In my opinion, it influences the effect of access to pornography by young people that leads them to see violent sexuality as a normal form of sexuality. Pornography is doing a lot of damage.How does the use of social media influence violence against women? It is the so-called cyberviolence. A very easy mechanism that can be carried out without having to approach the victim and that allows absolute control over it. In addition, it favors the exercise of different forms of violence against women, especially threats, coercion, harassment and harassment.Do you think it was necessary to reform the Criminal Code so that the crime of sexual assault absorbed abuse? I have always been an advocate of the yes-is yes model. The idea of eliminating the difference between sexual abuse and assault has its origins in international standards. The International Criminal Court has said this in various judgments when it pointed out that the criminal types had to focus on the absence of consent and not on force or intimidation. This has also been noted by the European Court of Human Rights and the Committee on the Elimination of All Forms of Violence against Women. The legislator made a reform collecting the mandates of international institutions and also the claim of the feminist movement. This reform brings many positive elements to the fight against sexual violence, starting above all from the fact that it mainly affects women and children.How do you assess that the sentences of more than 1,150 sex offenders have been reduced by application of the Law of only yes is yes? There was an undesirable effect and, obviously, that required a reform that would have been better than later. This reform has been made and aggravated subtypes have been included and consent is still the fundamental axis.Do you think that with higher penalties women are more protected against crimes against sexual freedom or on the contrary both issues are not related? The most important thing is prevention but, obviously, when we are faced with a criminal action such as sexual assault, the criminal response is very important because the rapist must be punished so that there is no sense of impunity. And also to send that message to the rest of possible sex offenders. In addition, also for the victim that the fact that there is a conviction will help him recover and will strengthen it. Sending the message that the penal response is forceful will also favor the rest of the women who are in a similar situation. Penalties must be proportionate to the gravity of the offence.
- Gender-based violence
- Sexual Freedom Law
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