Gender-based violence worsens in Spain due to COVID-19: expert

MADRID, Nov. 25 (Xinhua) -- The COVID-19 pandemic and the subsequent lockdown in Spain have caused a worsening of violence against women in the country, psychotherapist and psychoanalyst Marta De Prado has told Xinhua.

On the occasion of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women which falls on Nov. 25 each year, De Prado highlighted the importance of finding solutions to the social problem that "we can combat" with knowledge.

Data from Spain's Ministry of Equality showed an increase of 43.8 percent in the number of calls to 016, the telephone number for victims of gender-based violence between March 14 and June 21, when Spain was under the State of Alarm due to the pandemic.

De Prado explained that during lockdown many relationships with previous problems of mutual understanding were unable to find "a space of relief", such as work or leisure spaces, which led to increased tension that triggered a situation of violence, either physical or psychological.

"The aggression is not justified in any way. But in some cases, it has been shown that there are people who cannot handle certain situations and the pandemic has brought that to light," she explained.

According to official data, the first and second quarters of 2020 saw 70,761 complaints of gender-based violence in Spain, compared with 80,854 for all of 2019.

Although the lockdown placed some relationships under strain, there was good news as a significant number of couples experienced the opposite effect during confinement.

"Couples who did not have enough time together took advantage of this moment to rediscover those little details that led them to fall in love," she said.

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