Support those who suffer Second Order Violence to protect victims of Gender Violence

By Guest Writer Juan García López

Image: Gender inequality that can lead to violence against women

Juan García López has a PhD in Educational Sciences from the University of Barcelona (Spain) and he was Inspector of Education in Castilla-La Mancha and ¨La Paz¨ Educational Center (Albacete, Spain), where the ¨Learning Communities¨ Project is being implemented since the 2006. He is also the author of various educational books.

Juan Garcia Lopez has dedicated his entire life to what he is most passionate about: education. With an impeccable resume, Juan has held various positions during his professional career. From teacher, director of educational centers, university professor and Inspector of Education, among other positions. His current lines of research focus on community education, school success and education within the European Higher Education Area.

I align myself with the initiative of Juan García López presented in the guest article below by translating and publishing it for The Urban Chapter community. I believe we need those who have the capacity to make a change to be focused on the right things and doing the right things. Any step and every voice towards choices and decisions that could make the society a better place to live in, are important.

Original article published here: Support those who suffer Second Order Violence to protect victims of Gender Violence.

Coinciding with the European campaign against Second Order Violence, the scientific news agency of the Spanish Foundation for Sciences and Technology (SINC, Ministry of Science and Innovation) that has published, the March 12, 2021, an article signed by journalist Eva Rodríguez, on the protection of those who support victims of Gender Violence.

Gender Violence is an abusive behavior, of great social impact, that is produced by inequality and power relations of men over women that is exercised by the subjective difference between the sexes. In a case of Gender Violence, people react in different ways. Many show their support for the victim, and may suffer Second – Order Sexual Harassment (SOSH).

Ramón Flecha, professor of Sociology at the University of Barcelona, Spain and founder of the Community of Research on Excellence for All Institute (CREA) ​​has published a study in the scientific journal with the most impact internationally, on sexist violence ¨Violence Against Women“ Second-Order Sexual Harassment: Violence Against the Silence Breakers Who Support the Victims¨¨ – SAGE Publishing (where he presents six stories of life in different settings: school, university, non-profit organizations and family. It is evident that the attacks that are directed against the people who actively sympathize with the victims of sexist violence, seek to end the support they receive.

The article shows us factors that can help prevent SOSH to ensure community support, an essential component of the fight to overcome Gender Violence. Among the evidence presented, the following stand out: working on security strategies for individuals who support victims, promoting solidarity networks that also address SOSH, and ensuring institutional policies to address this type of harassment. In the words of Flecha, “All the participants agreed that the main reason of the aggressor was to get them to stop supporting the victim. According to the accounts collected, although they were not the initial focus of the attacker, they became a problem when their intervention made it difficult for the attacker to continue with his abuse. Therefore, the stalker intended to eliminate that support with his actions.¨

We are facing new scientific evidence to advance in the eradication of Gender Violence, direct or first-order sexual harassment and to reduce SOSH. For this, it is necessary to put an end to the attacks and defamation suffered by those who support the victims. And even more so, when in recent years, organized civil society and student movements have included egalitarian postulates in their lifestyles.

It is necessary that from different social and professional spheres, to face the overcoming of second-order harassment, as an essential requirement for the end of gender-based violence. The Autonomous Parliaments would do well to promote a Law that protects those who support the victims of Gender Violence.

Juan García López

(Article published with Juan García López’s permission)


In 2020 the Catalan Parliament, Spain, passed the first legislation in the world against this form of violence under the name of Second Order Violence [Llei 17/2020, del 22 de desembre, de modificació de la Llei 5/2008, del dret de les dones a erradicar la violència masclista].

Bonus Track:

Juan García López in the Spanish newspaper ABC and digital newspaper La Tribuna de Albacete talking about what he is most passionate about: education.

Conference on education by Juan García López – Youtube


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1 Comment

  1. La violencia de género es una lacra para la sociedad. Con la difusión de información y artículos como este se contribuye a la concienciación social para su erradicación. Gracias por tu publicación.

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