Government assigns an extra €2.9m for services for victims of gender abuse, responding to the effects of confinement

Catalonia’s Department of Labour, Social Affairs and Families opens additional safe-housing for 60 women experiencing domestic abuse and their children, 3 new Specialized Intervention Service centres (SIEs) for recovery and a new emergency service

Catalan Vice President Pere Aragonès and the Minister for Labour, Social Affairs and Families Chakir el Homrani have presented a plan with measures against gender violence, allocating an extra €2.9m for care, recovery and reparation for women who have experienced gender violence, and their children. These resources aim to deal with the effects of confinement in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and add to the €4.7m increase that had already been made in the 2020 budget. The Government is thus raising the stakes in the war on violence against women in a context of great complexity.

Since the beginning of confinement, the number of requests for support and care for cases of gender violence has increased by 266%, and calls to the hotline have tripled. Nearly 500 women have turned to social services for the first time for this reason.

“This government is firmly committed to real and effective equality between women and men, and in the war on gender violence” said VP Aragonès, who called to mind that the 2020 budget approved in April already includes measures to guarantee a gender perspective in political actions and allocates €13.5m to care for women and children who have suffered gender violence. But now, as a result of the confinement forcing women to live with their aggressors, Mr Aragonès has defended that “exceptional measures must be taken” and for this reason the crash plan with an additional €2.9m has been established. “Thus we will allocate a total of €16.4m specifically to policies to combat and mitigate the effects of gender violence,” he specified.

Women’s refuge centres across the country: a historic debt

The latest addition is a new Reception and Emergency Service, the second is a refuge, owned by the Department, that guarantees the personal safety and integrity of these women and their children immediately and where they are accompanied in the formalities to be followed. At the same time, the Department will finance the municipal Reception and Emergency services, and it is expected that by the end of 2020 the service will have reached each and every one of the 104 social service areas in the country. “There will be reception services largely funded by the Catalan Generalitat Government throughout the country, and this is a very important step forward, a historic debt we had,” said Minister El Homrani. “This shows the determination of the Government to spearhead the fight against the scourge of gender violence,” he added.