The Destructive Effects of Spain’s Domestic Violence Law

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The following Press statement was released earlier this week by the alliance DAVIA of which MVI is a member:

Marriage Crisis in Spain Linked to ‘VioGen’ Domestic Violence Law

February 13, 2023 – Large-scale studies have found that couples who are in a married relationship have substantially lower rates of domestic violence, compared to couples in a non-married, dating relationship (1, 2). Introduction of the domestic violence law known as “VioGen” (3) in Spain precipitated a rapid decline in the marriage rate in that country. This raises the concern that a law designed to reduce partner violence may have actually increased it.

Before the VioGen law came into effect, declines in the Spanish marriage rate per 1,000 persons were small (4):

  • 1980: 5.9 marriages
  • 1990: 5.7 marriages
  • 2000: 5.4 marriages

Following passage of the VioGen law in 2004, Spain witnessed a dramatic decline in its marriage rates:
• 2005: 4.7 marriages
• 2010: 3.6 marriages
• 2020: 1.9 marriages

Before 2004, Spain’s marriage rate was higher than the average for Europe. But now, Spain has the third lowest marriage rate across the continent, according to Eurostat (5). This news triggered widespread public debate about the “crisis matrimonial” in Spain (6, 7, 8).

The VioGen law instigated a wave of judicial proceedings against spouses.

The procedure was to separate them from their children and jail them for up to 72 hours. These detentions normally take place on weekends, beginning on Fridays, so the man spends the whole weekend in a jail.

From 2004 to 2022, more than 2.2 million domestic violence proceedings took place, with more than 1.7 million defendants ending up being declared as innocent (9).  In other words, 75% of  persons – mostly men — accused of domestic violence and forced to leave their homes were eventually found to be innocent.

News of these legal travesties affected the willingness of men to marry and create families. Fertility rates in Spain have now fallen to 1.23 per woman, far below the replacement rate of 2.1. (10)

Defects of the VioGen Law

An analysis of VioGen reveals three major defects:

1. Addresses domestic violence only against women, even though research shows men and women are equally likely to be victims of domestic violence (11).
2. Ignores the presumption of innocence and other due process protections.
3. Makes no provision for the use of counselling, even though therapy is the recommended approach to address minor instances of domestic abuse (12).

Ironically, the Istanbul Convention, currently being considered by the European Parliament, shares the same three flaws.

The International Coalition for the Defense of the Family has developed a petition that charges the Istanbul Convention “undermines family and marriage.” (13) Likewise, leading Members of the European Parliament have claimed the Convention “generates prejudices and mistrust, making peaceful coexistence within the family impossible.” (14)

The Domestic Abuse and Violence International Alliance urges Members of the European Parliament to correct the three major defects of the Istanbul Convention before submitting the treaty for a vote.





 False Accusations spread like wildfire

Several years ago MVI posted an article about the catastrophic rate of false accusations of Domestic Violence in Spain. It attracted thousands of views and gave a searing account of the effects on men. Along with it we posted a video   made by groups in Spain and which featured interviews with and statements by prominent legal experts there.

Below are extracts from a report prepared by Anavid, National Association for Assistance to Victims of Domestic Violence (Asociacion Nacional de Ayuda a Victimas de Violencia Doméstica) and sent to DAVIA. This makes for harrowing reading.


Consequences of the Law of Gender Violence and Gender Ideology in Spain

D. Jesús Muñoz   Dª María Legaz

24 January 2023

The passage of the LIVG, the comprehensive law against gender-based violence, in Spain in 2004 has led to the violation of the fundamental rights of all heterosexual citizens, especially loss of the “presumption of innocence.”

The socialist party, from which this ideology of copyright criminal law originated, had on the table, according to public statements by one of its proponents, safeguarding the protection of victims or the presumption of innocence. They opted for the protection of victims, destroying the “presumption of innocence” for hundreds of thousands of men in the past 18 years.

The Particular vote of five magistrates, including Judge Jorge Rodríguez Zapata, states

in writing, on folio 25 of the sentences, that this law would make the dreams of Edmund Mezger, German jurist from Nazi Germany, come true.

Zapata writes in the seventh paragraph:

“Finally, I express my wish that this Judgment not to be the beginning in our order of the fulfillment of Mezger’s dream: two Criminal Laws; a criminal law for the generality, in which, in essence, the principles that have governed up to now will remain in force. And, along with it, a completely different criminal law, for special groups of certain people. I leave a record of my position in this Vote.

In Madrid, on May fourteenth, two thousand and eight. Jorge

Rodriguez Zapata Perez. -Signed”.

In addition to this, a renowned member of the Socialist party and ex-president of the Spanish Government, Alfonso Guerra, publicly declared that he spoke with an acquaintance of his, who had been the president of the Constitutional Court in 2004, who confirmed to him that the seven magistrates who approved the unconstitutional law did so under pressure from feminist lobbies, and from the socialist party of José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero.




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