The case of Angela Gonzalez Carreño v. Spain, discrimination and gender violence against women and minors
On September 2012, Women’s Link presented the case Ángela Gonzalez Carreño c. España before the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (“CEDAW Committee”) denouncing the State’s violation of its obligations under the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (“CEDAW Convention”). Ángela, who suffered from gender-based violence, fled her home bringing her daughter Andrea with her. The violence continued and for years Angela sought protection for herself and her daughter Andrea in national courts, requesting among other measures, the perpetrator’s visits with his daughter be supervised. Despite Ángela filing more than 30 petitions, the Court continued to allow the visitation of the girl with the aggressor to remain unsupervised. As a result of the negligence of the authorities, the abuser killed Andrea in 2003 while she was 7 years old during one of his visits.
On July 2014, the Committee issued its decision in the case, in which it determined the Spanish authorities were responsible for the death of Andrea as a result of their negligence. The decision emphasizes the need for Courts to take into account the history of domestic violence in the determination of custody and visitation of children, to ensure they do not endanger the safety of victims of violence, including their children. It also states that stereotypes affect women’s right to a fair trial and that the Spanish judicial authorities applied stereotypical notions regarding the nature and severity of violence, as well as visitation rights of abusive parents with their children.