VioGén gender domestic violence protection system

VioGén is a system intended to help local authorities across Spain protect women and children from domestic gender violence, and to co-ordinate their activities. The system evaluates the degree of risk of aggression to women and assigns a score which determines the level of police protection they should receive.

Launched in 2007 by Spain's Ministry of Interior, VioGén has been a success, resulting in a 25 percent reduction in repeat attacks, according to Spanish authorities.

Risks and harms 🛑

VioGén has been criticised for underestimating the risk of women being subjected to domestic abuse, resulting in suicides, physical assaults, and the murder of women and children.

Transparency 🙈

The Spanish Ministry of the Interior has not opened the VioGén system to third-parties for review, audit, or investigation, leading critics to accuse the authorities of inadequate transparency. The system also appears to be largely unaccountable. 

As Eticas' report points out (pdf), women and womens' organisations were not involved in the design of the VioGén system at any stage. 80% of women users of the system surveyed by the audit company view it negatively.

Furthermore, the fact that VioGén is more or less fully automated means it should be subject to Spain's tougher Régimen Jurídico de la Función Pública, Eticas argues.