Eighty-two per cent of cases of domestic violence go unreported, according to Pere Barceló, doyen of the Balearic judges. He was appearing before the Human Rights Committee of the Balearic Parliament. He said that most of the women who suffer abuse in their homes later withdraw the complaint. He said that it was “very necessary” to increase the number of shelters for battered women in the Balearics, as the unit in Palma is usually overcrowded. He told parliament that a centre would be opened in Inca shortly, and that this would help ease the problem. He also said that experience over the past few years in Palma had shown that it was essential for the local institutions to agree on how to tackle the problem at the roots, and to ensure that steps taken are as effective as they should be. The judge said that when a woman files a complaint, the doctor who treats her should inform the judge on duty immediately, so that all the mechanisms to protect the victim can be set in motion. He also called for more mediators to act in collaboration with the judge. Such mediators could help prevent violence between couples. The police now receive special training in how to deal with cases of domestic violence, which are on the increase in Spain.

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