I am a victim but do not want to testify

Lawyou — viernes, 26 de febrero de 2021

What happens if I refuse to testify

Gender violence in Spain is very strong, there are daily hundreds of cases of women who are victims of verbal, physical and psychological abuse. There are few women who once the step is done do not want to declare, but you should know that these women should also be protected by public institutions if they wish and it is a right they have should be demanded as such.

New victims of male violence are confirmed

With three women murdered in less than 48 hours, it has raised to 20 the number of fatal victims of gender violence in 2018 in Spain. Similarly, in addition to such victims, we must not forget that there are very many cases in our country in which, although women manage to survive, they suffer such violence on a daily basis.

Gender violence is defined as physical, psychological or sexual violence directed against a person or group of people because of their sex or gender. This type of violence causes severe consequences for the victims, both physically and psychologically. However, on very many occasions, fear makes them unable to report it.

This type of violence expresses the situation of inequality, discrimination and power that men can exercise over women.

Victim protection

Faced with this, in 2003 Law 16/2003 of April 8, on prevention and comprehensive protection of women was passed and, later, said law was developed by Organic Law 1/2004 of December 28, on comprehensive protection measures against gender violence.

In relation to said law, women victims of gender violence have various universal rights such as labor rights, economic rights, the right to social assistance, geographical mobility or free, immediate and specialized legal assistance, among many others.

In addition, there are also several campaigns that raise awareness against abuse and gender violence.

Despite this, the current reality is that more and more cases continue to arise, which makes us question whether our regulation works efficiently and adequately, so that women do not have to feel afraid or unprotected when reporting the ordeal they are going through.



Should the victim be forced to testify against her abuser?


Should not doing so mean more lack of protection?


Doing so is a way to protect women?

First of all, it should be taken into account that, in the event that a woman victim of gender violence does not want to testify, the occasions in which the offender can be convicted are limited, due to the fact that there is likely to be insufficient evidence to do so.

Articles in the LECrim

In this regard, it is necessary to highlight various articles of the Criminal Procedure Law: 410 and 416. On the one hand, according to article 410, «all those residing in Spanish territory, nationals or foreigners, who are not impeded, will have the obligation to attend the judicial summons to declare what they know about what they are asked if they are summoned with the formalities prescribed by law».

On the other hand, Article 416 establishes that they are exempted from the obligation to declare:

  • relatives of the defendant in direct ascending and descending lines
  • .
  • their spouse or person united by a de facto relationship analogous to marriage
  • your blood or uterine siblings and blood collaterals up to the second civil degree
  • the relatives referred to in number 3 of article 261 of the same Law
  • .

Differentiated treatment

Likewise, we should know that a differentiated treatment is granted to the dispensation from the obligation to testify to those persons who have been victims of gender and domestic violence, since these are crimes that are usually committed in the intimacy of the family. Therefore, as indicated above, it is frequent that there is no other evidence other than the victim’s own statement.

Supreme Court ruling

According to the Supreme Court Agreement of April 24, 2013, the possibility of the assaulted woman deciding not to testify in the event of the concurrence of any of the following circumstances is denied:

  • When the aggression took place, there was no longer a marital relationship or a relationship of analogous affectivity
  • .

  • That the witness is a defendant in the proceedings
  • .

The importance of legal advice

With all the above mentioned, there is no doubt that it is very important for the victim to know the phases of the legal proceedings that are carried out in these cases, so that he/she can be informed of all the options available to him/her. Therefore, the legal advice of the woman becomes fundamental.

From LAWYOU, we help you.

At LAWYOU, we have very experienced lawyers who can help you with any question in this regard. Do not hesitate to contact us through our email info@lawyoulegal.com or, if you prefer, call us on 602 226 895.

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