Incident 186: Algorithm Assessing Risk Faced by Victims of Gender Violence Misclassified Low-Risk Cases, Allegedly Leading to Homicide of Women and Children in Spain

Description: In Spain, the algorithm that assesses recidivism risk in gender violence, VioGén, have critically underestimated the level of risk in a series of cases that ended in homicide of women and children since its first deployment.


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Incident Stats

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Sean McGregor, Khoa Lam
The murdered women who reported were assessed as 'low or no risk' · 2014

Fourteen of the 15 murdered in 2014 who had reported their aggressor for sexist violence had a police risk assessment "not appreciated » or «low», according to the latest report of the Observatory of Domestic and Gender Violence of the Gene…

New protocol to assess the risk of gender victims · 2019

The Police will begin to apply this Wednesday the new protocol for assessing the level of risk of victims of gender violence, after the Secretary of State for Security has officially notified the instruction. As a novelty, the judicial auth…

Validation and Calibration of the Spanish Police Intimate Partner Violence Risk Assessment System (VioGén) · 2019

This study describes the rationale, development, and validation of the intimate partner violence (IPV) police risk assessment forms of the VioGén System of the Spanish Ministry of Interior (VPR4.0 and VPER4.0), which promote greater predict…

In Spain, the VioGén algorithm attempts to forecast gender violence · 2020

As part of a program to curb feminicides, Spain built VioGén, an algorithm that assesses the risk faced by victims of gender violence. It remains a work in progress.

In the early morning of 24 February 2018, Itziar P., a psychologist living…

The External Audit of the VioGen System · 2022

We present the results of 7 months of work of Eticas and Ana Bella Foundation with the available data and affected women and other stakeholders. As mentioned above, it is a part of a broader external auditing project where Eticas, in collab…

Victims denounce failures in VioGén, the algorithm against gender violence · 2022

Lack of transparency, underestimation of psychological violence, “rigid” questions that do not allow explanations or evaluations that take into account the police resources available when assigning a level of risk to the victim. These are s…

AI: Decoded: Spain’s flawed domestic abuse algorithm — Ban debate heats up — Holding the police accountable · 2022

Spanish algorithm leaves domestic violence victims out in the cold: For the past 15 years, Spain has been using an algorithmic system called VioGén to help the police assess the risk women face when they file complaints of abuse. But the sy…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.