Open data to fight against gender violence

Fecha de la noticia: 23-02-2022

3 women who make a stop gesture in reference to gender violence

Today, no one can deny that open data holds great economic power. The European Commission itself estimates that the turnover of open data in the EU27 could reach 334.2 billion in 2025, driven by its use in areas linked to disruptive technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning or language technologies.

But in addition to its economic impact, open data also has an important value for society: it provides information that makes social reality visible, driving informed decision-making for the common good.

There are thousands of areas where open data is essential, from refugee crises to the inclusion of people with disabilities, but in this article we will focus on the scourge of gender violence.

Where can I obtain data on the subject?

Globally, agencies such as the UN, the World Health Organization and the World Bank offer resources and statistics related to violence against women.

In our country, local, autonomous and state agencies publish related datasets. To facilitate unified access to them, the Government Delegation against Gender Violence has a statistical portal that includes in a single space data from various sources such as the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration, the General Council of the Judiciary or the Public Employment Service of the Ministry of Employment and Social Security. The user can cross-reference variables and create tables and graphs to facilitate the visualization of the information, as well as export the data sets in CSV or Excel format. 

Projects to raise awareness and visibility

But data alone can be complicated to understand. Data need a context that gives them meaning and transforms them into information and knowledge. This is where different projects arise that seek to bring data to the public in a simple way.

There are many associations and organizations that take advantage of published data to create visualizations and stories with data that help to raise awareness about gender violence. As an example, the Barcelona Open Data Initiative is developing the "DatosXViolenciaXMujeres" project. It is a visual and interactive tour on the impact of gender violence in Spain and by Autonomous Communities during the period 2008-2020, although it is updated periodically. Using data storytelling techniques, it shows the evolution of gender violence within the couple, the judicial response (orders issued and final convictions), the public resources allocated, the impact of COVID-19 in this area and crimes of sexual violence. Each graph includes links to the original source and to places where the data can be downloaded so that they can be reused in other projects.

Another example is "Datos contra el ruido” (Data against noise), developed within the framework of GenderDataLab, a collaborative platform for the digital common good that has the support of various associations, such as Pyladies or Canodron, and the Barcelona City Council, among others. This association promotes the inclusion of the gender perspective in the collection of open data through various projects such as the aforementioned "Dotos contra el ruido", which makes visible and understandable the information published by the judicial system and the police on gender violence. Through data and visualizations, it provides information on the types of crimes or their geographical distribution throughout our country, among other issues. As with "DatosXViolenciaXMujeres", a link to the original source of the data and download spaces are included.

Tools and solutions to support victims

But in addition to providing visibility, open data can also give us information on the resources dedicated to helping victims, as we saw in some of the previous projects. Making this information available to victims in a quick and easy way is essential. Maps showing the location of help centers are of great help, such as this one from the SOL.NET project, with information on organizations that offer support and care services for victims of gender-based violence in Spain. Or this one with the centers and social services of the Valencian Community aimed at disadvantaged groups, including victims of gender violence, prepared by the public institution itself.

This information is also incorporated in applications aimed at victims, such as Anticípate. This app not only provides information and resources to women in vulnerable situations, but also has an emergency call button and allows access to legal, psychological or even self-defense advice, facilitating access to a social criminologist.

In short, we are facing a particularly sensitive issue, which we must continue to raise awareness and fight to put an end to. A task to which open data can make a significant contribution.

If you know of any other example that shows the power of open data in this field, we encourage you to share it in the comments section or send us an email to

Content prepared by the team.