Last Friday the Council of Ministers authorized the allocation of 1.54 billion euros over the next three years to the National Strategy for the eradication of violence against women.

According to Vice-President, Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, this is "an ambitious and most comprehensive project which will ensure that Spain remains at the forefront of what is being done by the European Union to protect women". Its aim is to protect women and children that suffer from gender-based violence.

In order to implement the plan and overcome abuse, seven lines of action and 258 measures have been established, including a Europe-wide hotline – 116, a personalised response to female victims and assistance to the most vulnerable groups such as elderly women or residents of rural communities. For the first time, the plan includes a specific healthcare protocol against female genital mutilation.

According to Soraya Sáenz de Santamaría, the aim is for victims to be aware that "there is a way out" and that they are entitled to a "dignified and better" life.

The Vice-President also said that the other "key tool for combating violence against women" approved on Friday was the signing of the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence.

This Convention, in which "the woman is the focal point", was signed by 29 States and ratified by four, but will not come into force until such time as it is ratified by ten States in total, of which at least eight must belong to the Council of Europe.

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