Sunday, June 13

Vicarious violence: the other side of sexist crimes

Little Anna and Olivia.

Little Anna and Olivia.

It has been more than forty days that the family of the Missing girls in Tenerife have had to wait to find out about little Anna and Olivia, who disappeared on April 27 with their father, who did not deliver them to their mother at the agreed time. Everything indicates that Tomás Gimeno, the father, got rid of the girls, aged one and six, after saying goodbye to everyone around them and writing a message to the mother of the minors, Beatriz Zimmerman to make one thing clear: “You will not see them again in life.”

A lapidary phrase that at all times, during all these days of investigation, from the surroundings of Gimeno and from Zimmerman herself have wanted to join a flight to another country and not the murder of the girls.

At the end of this Thursday, the ship Ángeles Alvariño, of the Spanish Institute of Oceonography, located in the sea the lifeless body of the older sister, Olivia, and the worst hypothesis about the end of the little ones was confirmed. Until this Thursday, no person who had known Gimeno could think that the outcome was such. It is not the first. Sexist violence manifests itself in many ways, among them, making the partner or ex-partner feel the greatest suffering by taking away what they love the most. In this case, his daughters.

Since 2013, 38 minors have been killed by their fathers or their mothers’ partners or ex-partners. That year, boys and girls entered the official statistics that started with the count of women murdered in 2003, which now total 1,086.

Just two years earlier, in 2011, Córdoba was experiencing one of the most shocking cases of vicarious violence: the case of Jose Breton . The event, in which the father murdered his little ones, Ruth and José, to later dispose of their bodies in a homemade oven, put in the spotlight a type of mistreatment that exceeded the limits of what was established. Breton was sentenced to 40 years after never acknowledging that he had ended the lives of his children to end that of his mother, separated from him after suffering continued mistreatment. In the law of sexist violence, the murdered minors were not recognized as victims until 2015 despite the creation of that list in 2013. Two years later, Ruth Ortiz, mother of the children of Córdoba, with the support of women’s associations , got the mothers of those murdered children also recognized as victims of sexist violence in their own right.

In 2013, another case shocked society when a man shot and killed his two children aged 5 and 13 and then committed suicide in Ciudad Real after the mother of those minors told him that she wanted to separate. In 2017, a man threw himself into the void with his one-year-old daughter from the Hospital de la Paz in Madrid. “I’m going to give you where it hurts the most,” he yelled before rushing through a window to his wife, present in the room. In 2018, Another parent stabbed his two daughters, aged two and six, in Castellón a month before the divorce hearing.

According to the latest report from the Ministry of the Interior on the risk of children of victims of gender violence, something that was included in the protocol in 2019, there are 397 minors at medium risk and 45 at high risk of being attacked by their parents.

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