The development of the regulations on gender based violence in romania and Spain

AuthorLavinia Mihaela Vladila
PositionSenior Lecturer, Ph.D., Faculty of Juridical Sciences, Socials and Politics, 'Valahia' University of Târgoviste (U.V.T), Romania
Lavinia Mihaela Vladila
LESIJ NO. XIX, VOL. 1/2012
Lavinia Mihaela VLDIL
In this article, I will present the evolution of the regulation of gender based violence in
Romania and Spain. This new theme is one of actuality, due to the situations that frequently happen
in our social life. Both Romania and Spain have a high level of gender based violence, even if
nowadays in our country are few statistics on this matter. But also, both countries now enjoy good
legislations, which have been developed in the last 10 years.
Keywords: gender based violence, evolution, crime, family, legal protection
The present study aims to present the evolution of the regulation of gender based family
violence, by comparison between Romania and Spain in the last decades. It is a general analysis of
the phenomenon, without emphasizing a certain aspect of this large area.
The importance of this approach lies in the very existence of the phenomenon.
Though it is widely spread and with an ancient existence, in Romania the number of official
statistics on gender based violence is nearly inexistent. In our country, family violence has
“generously cohabited” with our ignorance and the acceptation of the great majority of population.
Based on the principle that “beating is torn of heaven” it often had serious forms of violence,
representing only means of an inhuman expression of frustrations, dissatisfaction and lack of
personal control. This is why the ignorance of this phenomenon lasted until, taken out to the surface,
it managed to generate a mass effect which subsequently determined various legislative projects, in
total agreement with different European and international regulations. In Romania there is a law1
which directly regulates gender based violence and other ones which are indirectly linked to the first
one2. Also, in accordance with these special regulations comes the new Criminal Code of 2009,
which specifically states the protection of family against any form of violence, especially domestic
By comparison, in Spain, the development of the legislation went hand in hand with the
expansion of various statistics in all autonomous communities, and national ones. Moreover, for the
Iberian state the initiation of some staggering statistics on the existence and expansion of this
Senior Lecturer, Ph.D., Faculty of Juridical Sciences, Socials and Politics, “Valahia” University of Târgovişte
(U.V.T), Romania; Counselor of the Department of Continuing Education and Distance Learning of U.V.T, (email: )
1 We are talking about Law No 217/2003 on the preventing and fighting against family violence, published in
the Official Gazette No 367/29.05.2003, modified by Government Emergency Ordinance No 95/2003, published in the
Official Gazette No 13/8.01.2004
2 We can consider among these Law No 211/2004 with regard to certain steps to secure the protection of crime
victims, published in the Official Gazette No 505/4.06.2004; Law No 272/2004 on the protection and promotion of the
rights of the child, published in the Official Gazette No 557/23.06.2004; Law No 202/2002 on equal opportunities
between women and men republished in the Official Gazette No 150/1.03.2007; Law No 47/2006 on social assistance
published in the Official Gazette No 239/16.03.2006
86 Lex ET Scientia. Juridical Series
LESIJ NO. XIX, VOL. 1/2012
phenomenon lead to new regulations or, in other words, to special regulations in this area, being an
additional reason for these statistics to develop and to lead to new regulations.
Regarding the scientific-juridical analysis of family violence, in Romania we have found
several psychological, epistemological debates, but few pure juridical debates, based on the law and
on jurisprudence.
In exchange, in Spain there are many juridical studies, presenting the phenomenon under all
its possible aspects: historical, phenomenological, juridical, sociological etc.
To start the debate of this subject, we must state that nowadays, at the European and
international level, as well as in Spain, is made the differentiation between family violence and
gender based violence. Thus, family violence comprises all forms of violence within the family
(physical, psychical or sexual committed with intention) against women, men, children, elder persons
or against any close relative3, while gender based violence, as defined in Spain, represents violence
as the result of discrimination, inequality and of domination of men over women, exercised against
the latter one by her actual or ex concubine (the notion also includes the quality as husband), or by
the person to whom the women was or is in an affective relationship, even if they do not share a
household together4. Therefore, our study will refer to family violence to analyze the Romanian
penal framework, and both to family violence and to gender based violence to compare the
Romanian5 and Spanish situations.
This is why we strongly consider that such a comparative analysis will enrich our juridical
area with new perspectives on this phenomenon.
I. International awareness of the problem – a few legislative landmarks
The awareness of the existence of a problem on family violence occurred at an international
and European level at the end of the 1970s, so that in the next decade there were elaborated a series
of judicial documents aiming the protection of women against domestic violence. Thus, on 26 March
1985 the Council of Europe drafted its first Recommendation R (85)4 on violence in the family6.
Internationally, the General Assembly of the United Nations on its plenary meeting adopted
Resolution 40/36 of 29 November 1985 on domestic violence7 and Resolution 44/82 of 8 December
1989 proclaiming 1994 as International Year of the Family8. Another special interest for knowledge
and combat of this phenomenon was expressed by the Recommendations of the World Conference of
the UN held in Nairobi on 15-16 June 1985, by the Recommendations on family violence drafted by
a group of experts reunited in Vienna on 8-12 December 1985 or by the Resolution 46/8 March 1993
of the Commission on Human Rights incriminating violence and violation of human rights,
especially referring to women9. This first decade of positive reactions was followed by numerous
international measures which, with the spreading of the phenomenon, aimed and determined an
important involvement of the world states.
3 According to Art 2 and 3 of Law No 217/2003
4 According to Art 1 of the preliminary title of the Spanish Law 1/28 December 2004 on the mea sures for
protection against gender based violence, published in the Boletín Oficial del E stado (the official Spanish state bulletin)
No 313/29 December 2004 and republished with modifications in B.O.E. No 87/12 April 2005
5 Such statement is necessary because, after the entrance into force of Law No 1/2004 also the autonomous
communities have adopted their own regulations as a completion of the national law. Due to the fact that the analys is of
such subject is extremely comprehensive, it cannot be the subject of our study, but remaining opened to a sub sequent
debate. 6 See the official Council of Europe website
7 See the official UN website
8 Ibid.
9 Ortansa Brezeanu, Aura Constantinescu, Violena domestic. Reflecii in the Romanian Penal Law Review
No 2/2007, p. 68

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