Ionela C. did sound the alarm. On December 21, at the beginning of the Christmas holidays, he denounced his partner, Costinel, for sexist violence. It was not the first time he had done it. On December 22, a court in Torrejón de Ardoz (Madrid), where they both resided, decreed a protection order for her, but in the same resolution determined that he had the right to a visitation regime to be able to spend part of these parties with her two sons. On New Year’s Eve, according to the main hypothesis of the National Police, the man stabbed her to death and then committed suicide. He did it in the family home and in front of the minors, a 10-year-old girl and an eight-year-old boy.
The National Police investigated what happened after finding both bodies without life in the family home in the Madrid municipality on Thursday, December 31 at the edge of six in the afternoon. The main hypothesis of the investigation points to a case of sexist violence: the man stabbed the woman and took his own life. They were found after a call from a neighbor who heard screams inside the home where they lived. The boy and the girl were very upset and were treated by a team of psychologists from Summa112. Some friends of the mother will take charge of them, explained sources from the Torrejón City Council.
The children had spent several days with the father based on that visitation regime decreed by the court only one day after she reported that she was being mistreated. The regime included alternate weekends and half the holidays for each of them. On the same December 31, they were delivered to the mother by a third person. Later, Costinel C. broke into the house, killed her, and killed himself. She was 28 years old, he 37. They were both of Romanian nationality. It was not the first time that she denounced her alleged aggressor. There is at least one previous complaint, filed in 2014.
The Government delegate against Gender Violence, Victoria Rosell, has regretted in statements to EL PAÍS that the courts “continue to impose visitation regimes in favor of the aggressors at especially critical moments for mothers and children.” The moment of the complaint is, indeed, a critical moment. When women say that they leave or dare to report their partners or ex-partners – an exceptional fact that only occurs in one in five cases of murdered women – violence is triggered.
And although it has been more than five years since abused sons and daughters were recognized as victims of sexist violence, in 2015, protection measures for minors are still being given in a trickle. According to data from the General Council of the Judiciary (CGPJ), parental authority is only suspended in 3% of cases of sexist violence. The CGPJ recommended already in 2011 to change the Penal Code so that it was mandatory and not left in the hands of each court.
The future childhood law, pending approval after passing the amendment phase, provides for modifying the Criminal Procedure Law to make it mandatory to suspend the visitation regime when there is a protection order in force and there are indications that the minor has “witnessed , suffered or lived together ”with said violence, unless the judge presents a reasoned resolution that justifies otherwise, after having evaluated the parent-child relationship. “It is not about confronting the interests of men and women, or of fathers and mothers. These measures must be taken to protect the best interests of children, ”said Rosell.
The government delegate in Madrid, José Manuel Franco, lamented the case: “It is terrible to end the year like this. We will put all our interest to end this scourge, “he said. The Torrejón City Council has observed this Friday a minute of silence for Ionela C.
“Today all of us from Torrejon have a deep sadness and at the same time great determination to continue fighting against this social scourge that is gender violence. Now the main priority for this City Council are the two children who are orphaned by this disgusting act of violence, and we have made ourselves available to their families so that they are in the best possible conditions ”, stated the mayor of Torrejón, Ignacio Vázquez.
Eddie is an Australian news reporter with over 9 years in the industry and has published on Forbes and tech crunch.