Gender-based violence happens everywhere, across all walks of life, at all ages, yes. But there are differences depending on which rooms it occurs in. This Monday, Fernando Miguel González Castejón, Count of Atarés and Marquis of Perijáa, murdered his wife, a friend of his, on Calle de Serrano in Madrid and then committed suicide. He did it with one of the pistols in his small arsenal, although he had neither a gun license nor one registered in his name. He had a history of domestic violence, with a restraining order from his sister and mother in effect; and an already dormant case in the Viogén system for abusing her partner in 2018 before her daughter, who is now ten years old. When the case broke nearly 48 hours ago, many of the reactions centered on the alleged killer’s peerage and everything surrounding it.
Is there less perception of gender-based violence in the upper economic classes or in the so-called nobility? Does it work differently? Both specialists and existing data indicate a positive answer: there are specific features. However, as with other issues in this area, the analyzes and figures are either not up-to-date or were never collected. It happens, for example, with the socioeconomic level of the killers, and partly it happens because the first approaches that were made to sexist violence already reflected that there were no differences, that it happened in every home in the world, and that variable became never included in the statistics or reports officially released by any body.
The last of the General Council of the Judiciary on Victims of Sexist ViolenceFor example, in the “Characteristics of Aggressors” section, notes that “the data from the court records is insufficient to create a profile of the aggressors that includes socioeconomic circumstances or psychopathological elements that might help define the aggressor’s existence more precisely from policies , behavioral patterns or relationship characteristics that may trigger violent situations”.
Age, nationality, the situation in which the relationship was usually appear, whether suicide occurred after the murder, or whether they surrendered after the murder. And as this document also adds, the characterization of the attacker’s profile “is based on the analysis of statistical data without subjective elements”.
However, they exist. Miguel Lorente, coroner and former government delegate against gender-based violence, explains that years ago, when he analyzed the problem of grievances from business classes in general, he found that “those at the highest levels reported more crimes against property and property and the of the lower classes, more injuries”. It has a double explanation: “On the one hand, because they obviously have more goods and possessions to worry about, but also because denouncing violence creates a bad image that is less valued at those higher socioeconomic or sociocultural levels. They prefer to avoid conflict and resolve it through economic issues rather than in a more public way that puts them negatively ahead of their own.
In this second part of the explanation, “the reason” is the question: what is seen and what is not. Because although the expert made a general assessment, “it applies to sexist violence,” he says, just like any other form of violence. “Why do so few cases transcend these social classes, if we choose to call them that? Because the very fact of transcending is already negative, not only for the aggressor but also for the victim.” Lorente recalls that one of the reasons women don’t speak up is according to the 2019 Macro Survey on Violence Against WomenIt’s out of shame. 11.4% do not do so for this reason.
Victoria Rosell, the current government delegate for that area, points to the main reason why she didn’t. “In the event of violence in the current couple relationship, 47.2% state that they have solved it themselves”, it is read in the macro poll. This lawyer’s experience is that when she practiced, medical reports from lawyers or doctors passed over her desk: “She doesn’t care about social class or profession. What we are seeing is that there is a certain lack of alert and warning, as if more economic means means no help is needed to get out of the violence.”
According to the delegate, the fact that 47.2 percent believe that they can solve it on their own is “a misperception” that “occurs more strongly among those who believe in more possibilities”. Although “these victims may have more readily available housing or economic resources to get out of these relationships, that does not mean they are safe.” Rosell believes this is partly related to “that kind of extreme liberalism where the need for government aid is not perceived even in these circumstances”. However, she adds: “The restraining orders, support and comprehensive protection of the institutions apply to all women.”
In his experience, the “informal” agreements that can more often occur between couples with no economic problems are not always fulfilled. “It is better that institutions, security forces and bodies mediate justice to protect them and their sons and daughters. Because an abuser can never be a good father.
Mercedes González, the government delegate in Madrid, agrees, stating that “every window of opportunity is the best time to seek the protection” of the judiciary, the police. He knows it’s “difficult and complicated and tough,” but he believes it’s necessary to insist on reporting, not from the victims, but from “society, the family, whoever knows what’s happening or believes something is happening”. Get violence out of the shadows “before it’s too late”.
Basics and stereotypes of violence
Behind “all the prejudices that exist around this violence”, Lorente reminds us that when you oppose it, either as an institution or as a society, “it happens out of these prejudices”. Both the victims and the perpetrators. He says that because of the details of this recent murder, which is being investigated as sexist violence.
In 2018, the National Police mediated a discussion that took place on the street between the aristocrat and his wife, with their daughter at the helm. He yelled at her and insulted her. Agents arrested him, and she explained that “he was using drugs and alcohol,” that “sometimes his character would change,” and that he would be poked and his hair pulled “from time to time.” He didn’t think it was serious. According to macro surveyThe second most common reason why women don’t report their partner, 37.3%, is that they feel what happens is “very unimportant”.
At the time, the state police took action against the count ex officio, but did not want to file a complaint or go to court, as three out of four women murdered because of sexist violence do not do: for fear of the perpetrator, for fear of not having believed them or what the consequences would be can have for your sons and daughters.
The first thing Lorente refers to is “the construction of the idea that these are behaviors that men usually engage in after the consumption of alcohol or drugs, or that they suffer from a mental pathology”. Hence “he killed her after a strong argument” or “he had her drunk”. Even in court rulings, he explains, “such circumstances are presented as alien to the violence itself, as if there were no complex construct.”
These “are ways of approaching understanding of what is being produced,” but the source of the violence isn’t 20 beers or a gram of cocaine, “it’s machismo,” Lorente insists. And there is also “this kind of responsibility on the part of women, as if their behavior were to blame for the violence, as if they could have avoided it by behaving differently.”
These details, “important” for learning more about how sexist violence takes place, “are not important when it comes to officially communicating the killings because they reinforce these stereotypical notions”. If violence is known, “you see that they are not determinants, so we call them social because they may have to do with the way of doing things, but not with the fact of doing things.”
Differences also in relation to the level of education
According to the 2019 Macro Survey on Violence Against Women, the largest and most recent report in Spain to date, there are also differences in the level of education in reporting. Women with university degrees are the ones who report the least at 14.1%, with “large differences” compared to the other groups.
“Looking solely at reporting of violence among previous couples, the same pattern is generally repeated, but the gaps between those reporting the least and those reporting the most are larger,” the macro-survey says. 15.3% of university educated women had filed a complaint, compared to 32.8% of women with primary education or less: “This finding shows that while women with primary education generally have a higher prevalence of intimate partner violence than women with University studies, they also denounce this violence more strongly”.
This report’s analysis suggests that this “could be because less educated women suffer more serious acts of violence, or because they have a greater economic dependency on their partners that prompts them to report access to public benefits, among other possible causes Reasons.