Spain: Plight of Juana Rivas, a mother-of-two and abuse victim shakes Spain


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MADRID: The plight of a Spanish woman who vanished with her children after defying a court order to hand them over to her Italian ex-partner, found guilty of domestic violence, has shaken the country.

The case burst into the limelight this week just as lawmakers agreed a series of measures to tackle abuse against women, in a country that has made the struggle against domestic violence a priority.

Juana Rivas, a woman in her mid-30s from Maracena in southern Spain, was living in Italy with her partner when she took both their sons, aged 3 and 11, away in May 2016 and never returned, alleging abuse.

According to the Maracena municipal women’s centre which is representing her, she had suffered “psychological and physical violence.”

Her ex-partner, who was found guilty of abusing her in 2009, filed a complaint for child abduction, according to Andalusia’s high court, which oversees all courts in the southern region including the one that has dealt with the case.

In an interview with Italy’s Ansa news agency, he denied any violence. “I want to be able to hold my children again in my arms, I haven’t seen them since last year,” he said.

A Spanish court subsequently decided the children should return to Italy, arguing among other things that the eldest boy was evaluated by psychologists and did not show any indication of not wanting to see his father.

Rivas appealed but this was rejected and the court ordered her to hand over the children on Wednesday, July 26.

‘Defend them’
Footage of Rivas earlier this week showed her in tears as she appealed to the media.

“If they want to steal them from me, I will defend them until my last breath,” she told reporters.

On Wednesday, she never turned up and has remained in hiding ever since with her children.

The case has sparked an outpouring of support for Rivas, not only from fellow residents in Maracena, but further afield in Spain.

Netizens have taken to Twitter to pledge their support with the hashtags #Juanaestaenmicasa (Juana is in my house) or #YoSoyJuana (I am Juana) and a petition launched on Change.org in December 2016 has garnered more than 208,000 signatures.

Prime Minister Mariano Rajoy told reporters “you have to put yourself in the place of this mother” when asked about the case.

“She had to go live in Italy, come back, she’s been assaulted twice, her husband was sentenced by the courts,” he said.

But in the Ansa interview, her ex-partner accused her of organising a media campaign against him.

The court in charge of the case has ordered both parties to appear at a hearing on August 8 to decide how to proceed.

If you have any questions or concerns regarding a child abducted to or from Spain please feel free to contact us 24 / 7.  We are always available at contact@abpworld.com or by calling our offices – +1 (805) CHILD-11 (+18052445311)

ABDUCTED CHILD REUNITED IN TORREVIEJA, Spain


July 24, 2015

Source: The Leader

The Guardia Civil has successfully located and returned a child to his mother in Torrevieja after investigators found that the boy had been brought to Spain illegally by his father.

Torrevieja Salt Lakes

Nota: Nuestro personal habla español: www.abpworld.com

The events date back to 2013, when the couple separated. Custody of the child was left to the mother, who took up residency in a village in Italy.

The father started a judicial process to obtain custody, but rather than waiting for the judgement, it became apparent that the boy had been taken from his mother´s care when he disappeared whilst playing in a park near his home.

Believing they had fled to Spain, the Guardia Civil launched a search and located the boy in a home in the Guadalupe area of Cáceres.

MAP Torrevieja

Having received the appropriate authority, the child was seized and reunited with his Cuban mother in Torrevieja, where they had lived as a couple before the split, whilst the Spanish father now faces charges of abduction and has been delivered to the courts.

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