Men joined in protest against domestic violence

The fourth annual Caravan of Women left from the Parc de la Mar, to take its message against domestic violence to Palma, Inca and Llucmajor. Organised by the feminist group Lobby de Dones, it set off from the Casa del Mar car park near the Parc de la Mar at 10am. The caravan was made up of about 30 cars and 100 or so people and their first stop was Camp Redó, S'Escorxador and Son Oliva. Men were allowed to join in the protest, too. The cars were decorated with flowers and posters protesting at domestic violence. Fernanda Caro, the Balearic minister of social welfare, was present at the start of the caravan, to add her encouragement, although she was unable to take part. Politicians who did take part included Cecili Buele, Teresa Riera and Antoni Roig. A manifesto was read out in the outskirts of Palma, reminding people that women still shoulder the burden of most of the domestic tasks and family responsibilities. The caravan arrived in Inca at about 3pm, and a group of about 100 men and women took part in the main event held in a local restaurant in the presence of Mayor Rafael Torres and councillor Joana Roselló. The socialist spokesperson Rosario Mateo also took part. Francesca Mas, director of the Balearic Women's Institute, announced that there would be a sharp increase in the number of places in shelters for battered women in the near future. Inca will soon have its own shelter with 19 places. Palma already has one shelter with 19 places. Mas invited women to decide on their own future. She told her audience that in a community with such a high standard of living as the Balearics, it was shameful that many woman had to stay in hotels to get away from domestic violence. More people than ever took part in this, the fourth Caravan. They came from all over the island. According to Cáritas of Majorca, awareness of the problem of domestic violence has grown, and there has been a significant increase in the number of complaints filed with the police. The number of women seeking shelter has also risen, while the number of women who return to a violent partner has dropped, although it is still very high. There is no class distinction, and while most women are from the middle and lower classes, there are also women from the upper middle classes.

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