The Balearics have a “very high” rate of sexual abuse, according to the director of the Centro Reina Sofía for the study of violence, José San Martín. San Martin says that over the past five years, 1997 to 2001, an increase in the number of cases of extreme violence, which end in either death or very serious incapacitating injuries, against women, minors and the elderly in the family environment, has been registered in Spain. Figures obtained by the centre indicate that during that period, there has been a 27 per cent increase in the number of women killed by their partners, minors 100 per cent and cases of violence against the elderly “have gone through the roof.” Between 1997 and 2001, cases of domestic violence rose by 37.33 per cent. Ceuta, Melilla and Asturias are the three Spanish regions with the highest number of child abuse cases per inhabitant, while the Balearics have an “alarmingly high” number of sexual abuse cases. However, despite the figures, according to San Martin, “Spain is not one of the most violent countries in the world, in fact one of the least” according to the results of a study carried out by the centre for UNESCO.

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