The Guardia Civil have arrested a Swiss woman of Spanish origin, who kept her children captive for seven years at various Costa Blanca addresses, and threatened to kill them if they ever tried to get help. The woman faces domestic violence and illegal imprisonment charges. The youngsters, now 17 and 15, had never gone to school during their time in the area and only once were one of them allowed medical attention, for an upset stomach at the Almoradi medical centre. No reason has been suggested as to why the children were treated as virtual prisoners.
The 17-year-old daughter managed to evade her mother’s surveillance at the end of August and send an email to the ANAR Foundation, which helps children in trouble and sounded the alarm. She had allegedly been the victim of violence from her mother, who prohibited either of her children to have any contact with the outside world. She added that they were only allowed out on the streets for a short while every day for quick shopping errands or walks, but under strict surveillance.
Their 49-year-old mother was allegedly particularly brutal towards her daughter, “hitting her, pushing her against walls or furniture and throwing cutlery or any other object she had in her hands,” said the Guardia.
The daughter had not dared ask for help until then, as she “had been under constant threat of death from when she was little.” Her mother “said on various occasions that she would kill them if they spoke to police and that police would rape and kill them anyway – an idea with which they grew up,” the Guardia Civil said.
In her ANAR email, the daughter said this situation had started back in Switzerland when she was only three or four, and had continued when her mother moved to Spain in 2009. They constantly moved around the Costa Blanca, living in six different homes in seven years in Arenales del Sol, La Marina village, Rojales and Catral, and it was from their La Marina address that the girl sent her message.
The mother’s Swiss partner, 30, was also detained for covering up the situation. After a foundation tip off, police tracked down the house where the siblings were living in Catral, and they had only been there for a month at their current address on Calle Músicos Hermanos Aguilar.
The daughter has since returned to Switzerland to her biological father. A judge decided to let the brother – whom police said was not the victim of violence like his sister – return to his home in Catral, where his mother and her partner have been released pending trial.