While in English law, domestic violence cases are grouped together under one heading, in Spain there is a separate area dealing with ‘Violencia de Genero‘ which pertains only to violence perpetrated by men against women, specifically when the victim of a physical assault is or has been a wife or girlfriend, even if they do not live together in the same house or have never lived together, the author will be punished with imprisonment of six months to one year or receive a community order for between thirty-one to eighty days. However, if it is established that the aggressor routinely exercises violence against her, for example, that he has assaulted her on 2 different occasions in a year, the prison sentence will be from 6 months to 3 years. Bear in mind that a slap, push, or scratch may be considered as an assault.
The prison sentence may be higher if the injuries require more than one medical treatment (for example, stitches, surgery, broken bones, rehabilitative or physical therapy treatment). In these cases, the penalty can be up to 5 years in prison.
If there are children, and the Judge or Court deems it appropriate, the aggressor can also be punished with a limitation on visitation rights to see his children or make decisions about the education or health of his children for up to five years.
In addition, in any case the Judge will impose a restraining order from the first moment of the complaint and until a sentence is passed and if the sentence finally condemns for a crime of gender violence, the restraining order will be extended. Depending on the circumstances, the restraining order can be extended, lasting between 4 months and 10 years.
It is a common belief, even among lawyers and legal professionals, that the aggressor has no possible defense and that it is even better that he acknowledge the facts and reach an agreement in court in order to obtain the lowest possible penalty; However, a lawyer who is specialized in this matter knows that each case has its own special characteristics and that the popular belief that the law is in favor of women and that is why men are always condemned is not true. It is not that simple.
Similarly, it is also not true that women have difficulty accrediting that she has ben assaulted and that real cases of violence against women go unpunished. Actually, the truth is that the victim’s testimony can only be sufficient proof if it meets certain requirements
In any case, it is important to contact a lawyer from the beginning, before reporting, if you are the victim or before going to testify at the police station if you are the reported. The events that may be the subject of a complaint for violence against women usually occur in private, without witnesses, so the statements of the parties are often the only evidence and in any case are the main evidence and the details that include those statements should be clearly outlined with the help of a lawyer experienced in this field.