What is considered gender-based violence in Spain?

What is considered gender-based violence in Spain?

What is considered gender-based violence in Spain?

In Spain, as in many countries, gender-based violence is a pressing concern. To fully understand the implications and consequences of gender-based violence in Spain, it’s important to explore the legal framework, the various forms it takes, the cases that fall outside the law, and the penalties imposed.

Gender-based violence definition

Gender-based violence in Spain is defined as any act of physical, psychological, or sexual violence against women because of their gender. This definition encompasses a wide range of behaviors and actions that are intended to harm women, either physically or mentally, simply because they are women. These acts can include physical abuse, emotional manipulation, sexual assault, and economic control.

The most common manifestations of gender-based violence in Spain include:

Physical Violence

This may include hitting, slapping, kicking, or any other physical assault. It is one of the most visible and easily recognizable forms of gender-based violence.

Psychological Violence

Psychological violence is less visible but equally harmful. It encompasses emotional abuse, intimidation, control, and manipulation. This can lead to long-lasting emotional and psychological trauma, often causing severe mental health issues for the victims.

Sexual Violence

It includes rape, sexual assault, and any form of non-consensual sexual activity. This form of violence violates a woman’s bodily autonomy and dignity.

Economic Violence

This kind of violence involves controlling a woman’s access to economic resources, preventing her from working, and exerting financial dominance. This can result in financial dependency and contribute to the cycle of abuse.

If you or someone you know is facing gender-based violence in Spain and requires legal assistance, consider reaching out to English Speaking Lawyers in Torrevieja. They can provide valuable guidance and support within the legal system.

What forms of gender-based violence does the law address?

Spain has implemented a comprehensive legal framework to combat gender-based violence. The cornerstone of this legal framework is the Organic Law 1/2004 of 28 December on Integrated Protection Measures against Gender Violence. This law defines and addresses various forms of gender-based violence and outlines the rights of victims.


  • Protection Orders.
  • Legal Assistance.
  • Immediate Police Response.
  • Shelters and Support Services.
  • Education and Awareness.


What cases of gender-based violence fall outside the law?

While the legal framework in Spain is comprehensive, there are still cases of gender-based violence that may fall outside its scope. It’s essential to recognize these instances and work towards addressing them effectively.


One significant challenge is underreporting. Many victims of gender-based violence do not come forward due to fear, shame, or a lack of awareness of available resources. These cases often go unaddressed and unreported.

Same-Sex Relationships

The legal framework primarily focuses on violence against women. While same-sex relationships can also experience gender-based violence, the law may not cover them as comprehensively.

Immigrant Women

Immigrant women may face additional challenges when experiencing gender-based violence, including language barriers and fears related to their immigration status. These issues can hinder their access to support and justice.

Online Harassment

With the rise of the internet, online harassment has become a significant issue. While there are laws against cyberbullying and harassment, they may not be explicitly categorized as gender-based violence in all cases.

What are the penalties for gender-based violence?

Spain takes a strong stance against gender-based violence, and the legal system imposes severe penalties on perpetrators. The penalties vary depending on the severity of the violence and the impact on the victim. Common penalties include:

  • Criminal Charges. Perpetrators of gender-based violence may face criminal charges, leading to fines and imprisonment.
  • Restraining Orders. In cases where the victim obtains a protection order, the aggressor may be subject to restraining orders, which prohibit them from approaching or contacting the victim.
  • Loss of Custody. If the aggressor is a parent, they may lose custody or visitation rights with their children.
  • Mandatory Intervention Programs. In some cases, the court may order the aggressor to attend intervention programs to address their violent behavior.

Difference between gender-based violence and domestic violence

It is essential to differentiate between gender-based violence and domestic violence, as they are related but not synonymous. Gender-based violence is a broader term that encompasses violence against individuals based on their gender, with a particular focus on women. Domestic violence, on the other hand, refers to violence that occurs within the context of a domestic or familial relationship.

Domestic violence can be a form of gender-based violence when it targets women within a domestic setting. However, not all cases of gender-based violence occur within the home. Gender-based violence can occur in various settings, such as workplaces, public spaces, or online.

While both gender-based and domestic violence share common characteristics, such as power and control dynamics, the distinction is important because it influences the legal response, support services, and prevention efforts. Spain has specific laws and resources dedicated to addressing domestic violence within families and households.