“The fines are not about raising money; they are meant to dissuade, the idea is to eliminate demand,” says La Jonquera Mayor Sònia Martínez.The local authorities, along with Apip-Acam volunteers, are now trying to work more closely with the prostitutes.In the city’s STD clinic there is no confusion about what the wait is for.But unlike other patients readily sharing the details of their sufferings with one another, the STD patients kill time looking at AIDS prevention brochures and condom posters.
“I get here around 12, I’m around for four or five hours, and I can earn up to €500,” says one woman who refuses to be photographed or give her name.
The defense attorney, Íñigo Urien Azpitarte, asserts that his client’s case is now under review as no precedent for it is known in Spain.
When Urien accepted the case seven years ago, he was representing a man married by the Church whose wife had brought charges of “insults and harassment without physical aggression.” According to Urien, when the couple were getting divorced his client started to refer to himself as a woman.
A man reported to the authorities by his wife for psychological abuse seven years ago has undergone a sex change and become a woman before the case against him could be brought to a conclusion.
As Spanish gender violence legislation does not address female-on-female abuse in this context, a 48-year-old fireman from Asturias who is now officially a woman could soon be off the hook.