The Ertzaintza registers 4,000 crimes of sexist violence and warns of the increase in sexual assaults


Violence against women


Most of the victims have suffered habitual physical mistreatment or insults and humiliations on the part of their partners or ex-partners. Crimes against sexual freedom have increased by 17% in the Basque Country, where two women have been murdered so far this year.

Between January and September 2021, at least 3,265 women suffered sexist attacks in the Basque Country, where the Ertzaintza registered 4,003 crimes of gender violence. These are very similar figures to the same period in 2020, as reported in a note by the Security Department of the Basque Government.

By province, the highest number, both of cases and of female victims, is registered in Bizkaia, but on the other hand, in percentage, where the crimes of this type grow the most is at Car followed by Gipuzkoa, while in Bizkaia there was a slight decrease.

So far this year they have been two women murdered and there have been another 4 homicide attempts. On February 12, Conchi, 56, was murdered in the Biscayan town of Sestao by her husband. He had a daughter and a son. On October 12, Erika, 37, was murdered in Vitoria-Gasteiz by her husband. He had a minor daughter and son. Neither of the two had denounced, nor was the Police previously aware that they were victims of sexist violence.

By criminal typology, the largest number of complaints from the Ertzaintza in that period continue to be collected in 2021 for cases of violence exerted by a partner or ex-partner2,838, and of these, the majority are habitual physical abuse, insults, humiliations and injuries, followed by crimes against freedom such as threats, coercion, forced marriages or harassment.

The second main environment in which women are assaulted is at home (excluding the partner or ex-partner) where there have been 853 cases so far this year, an increase of 4.7%.

In addition, the Ertzaintza has detected an important growth in the comparison of periods 21 and 20 in the field of crimes against sexual freedom: there have been 312 cases, 17.7% more, most of them sexual abuse, which is the fastest growing of all.

Protection for women and vigilance against aggressors

The Basque Government has a budget allocation of 7.9 million euros to finance protection systems for women who are victims of the most serious crimes.

The latest figures indicate that 5,038 women receive some type of protection of Ertzaintza after complaint or police knowledge. Of these, 3,516 are by court order, while the remaining 1,522 receive that protection according to police protocols that analyze the risk of each victim, as explained in the statement.

The Ertzaintza carries out the protection in a comprehensive manner. The most serious cases are performed with a escort service permanent or occasional treatment for women at higher risk (61 women at the moment, 48 in Bizkaia, 7 in Araba and 6 in Gipuzkoa), or a counter-surveillance service (129 women, 85 in Bizkaia, 8 in Araba and 36 in Gipuzkoa) or with electronic means (244 women have the Bortxa application installed by the Ertzaintza in its terminals, 134 in Bizkaia, 50 in Araba, and another 60 in Gipuzkoa).

Also, right now, 60 men wear location bracelet by court order: 37 in Bizkaia, 6 in Araba and 17 in Gipuzkoa.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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