Bruised But Unable Move Out? Spain Will Stop Domestic Violence Before It Starts

A man, fists flying, busting up a doll house
This scene was created by and is licensed under CC0 1.0 Universal Public Domain Dedication

One of the most fraught housing crises anywhere in the world is the need to protect life and limb of individuals and family members suffering from domestic abuse. Escaping domestic abuse invariably requires moving. But for individuals and families financially dependent on the abuser for their housing, how can moving out even be possible?

Governments everywhere have recognized this life-threatening need for housing support. Many take steps to provide initial support for those escaping domestic violence.

Recently, we published a post about the limitations that an inadequate supply of affordable housing places upon victims of domestic violence. In British Columbia, and quite possibly other jurisdictions, the ever deepening affordable housing crisis provides only temporary ‘transitional’ housing for victims of domestic violence. The term ‘transitional’ is practically fraudulent, as the permanent deeply affordable housing needed by domestic violence victims does not exist. Transitioning may well be to homelessness instead1.

There is, however, at least one jurisdiction worldwide that is working to provide an alternative approach to rescuing victims of domestic violence. That initiative: preventing domestic violence from happening in the first place.

Police in Spain are working towards a system of ‘ratting out’ known domestic abusers to those who might potentially share a home with them. Yes, there are privacy issues that need to be considered. But in Spain at least, it seems that violent behaviour will be deemed to erode some individual privacy protections.

The Spanish initiative offers to protect those who, upon learning more about their potential housemate, can chose to avoid this potentially life-threatening experience for themselves and their children. And, as a useful by-product, it removes a housing burden from communities already overwhelmed with a pressing need for truly affordable housing. Worth a thought for your jurisdiction?

So how will it work? Read more at Spanish police will inform women about abusive history of their boyfriends


  1. Try: British Columbia Temporary Abuse Shelter: The Gift That Keeps On Taking