Male Violence and an Over-worked Judge

Date Added: 23 April 2008

Spain can be a bewildering country.  On the one hand it has a large proportion of women in its cabinet, and has more female judges than men.  In fact the proportion of women occupying and the positions of responsibility in whatever walk of life has caused Spain to be referred to as the "Sweden of the Mediterranean".

At the same time there is still a frightening level of machista violence within the family. In Madrid a judge, who occupies himself exclusively with male violence against women, is not happy.  He's horribly overworked!

He has 7,000 sentences to be awarded pending.  "I am sitting over a powder-kegg and smoking," he complains (see El Pais). Every time he reads about a case of Male violence in the papers, he can't sleep at night for fear the case will land on his desk.

Male violence doesn't only take place against wives: there was also a case in Murcia of a 35 year old schizophrenic man decapitating his own mother and walking around town with her severed head in a bloody rag, saying: "mother, I love you so much now that you are silent." (see

All this makes an interesting juxtoposition with the Spanish Church's insistence of the importance of the family life.  I'm reminded of a comment in the Tom Sharpe novel, The Midden: families are where most murder's are committed.

See The New Spaniards by John Hooper, Chapter 10 for the changing status of women, Chapter 11 for family life.