15 songs against Gender Violence and Abuse

In the last few decades awareness of the problem of gender-based violence has been raised. Until recently, in some regions of the world mistreatment was normalized, especially towards women. It is worrying, since neither men nor women escape this violence.

We have to make this situation visible.which sometimes suffers in silence and can lead to a fateful end. For this reason many artists have tackled the issue, creating songs against gender violence and mistreatment. We suggest these 15 themes.

15 songs against gender violence and abuse

Many are the artists who sing against gender violence. They are deep, reflective and undoubtedly very intense songs.. In voices of men and women who have decided to use their art to speak openly on this subject.

No doubt having these musical themes serves beyond catharsis or interpretation. They are a way of reflection and empowerment for those people who may be going through situations of violence. We share 14 of the best anti-mistreatment songs.

Shadow of the shadow of your hat (Manolo García)

Manolo García, Spanish singer-songwriter, gives us a theme about mistreatment within the couple. “Shadow of the shadow of your hat” tells us throughout the song that “I don’t want to be your prison” as a call to that Relationships should not imprison, but liberate..

With his unmistakable style and rhythm, Manolo García is the composer of this 2011 song, which does not lose momentum, especially by raising his voice to promote healthy relationships where violence and power play are not allowed.


2. Running out (Amaral)

“Run away.” is a composition of the Spanish pop-rock group, Amaral. This issue is strong and forceful, a way to reach out and provide help to anyone in a situation of gender-based violence.

“If you’re afraid, if you’re suffering, you have to scream and leave, run away” says the chorus of this melody that with a soft rhythm enchina skin and puts us in the shoes of someone who suffers and believes that there is no escape.


3. Stop killing us (Miss Bolivia)

“Stop killing us” is a forceful and strong theme that brings us Miss Bolivia. María Paz Ferreyra is an Argentinean singer, composer and DJ, who uses her voice to talk about strong and moving themes.

A fragment of the chorus reads: “I left for work and I didn’t go, I left for school and I didn’t arrive, I left the dance and I got lost, suddenly I blurred”. This song is a call to stop gender violence and the dramatic situation of feminicide in Latin America.


4. Bad (Baby)

“Bad” is one of Bebe’s most famous and emblematic songs. This Spanish singer leapt to international fame thanks to two themes that addressed women’s issues very specific: empowerment and gender-based violence.

Specifically “Malo” is a song that clearly portrays the anguish and fear that a woman experiences when she suffers violence from her partner. The chorus is a loud scream accusing and evidencing mistreatment.


5. Flower power (Stereo Pump)

“Flower power” is a song with the unmistakable rhythm of Stereo Bomb. This Colombian duet always makes us dancebut in this topic he also speaks loud, hard and clear about the need to recognize the integrity of women.

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“I am going to bloom and not disappear”, “I am not asking you for anything that I don’t deserve”, “We are flowers and we came into the world to adorn it with colors” are phrases that tremble when one thinks of the number of women who have died at the hands of their aggressors, mostly their male partners.


6. Antipatriarch (Anita Tijoux)

“Anti-patriarch” is one of the themes of Anita Tijoux on the subject of gender-based violence. Tijoux is a singer, rapper, feminist and activist of Chilean-French origin. He has used his voice and his music to make his activism visible and he does it masterfully.

“I may be your sister, your daughter… but I am not the one who obeys because my body belongs to me” With its rhythm and strong and firm voice, this theme transmits energy and strength to combat and raise awareness about gender-based violence.


7. Respect (Aretha Franklin)

“Respect. has become a feminist anthem. Aretha Franklin is now a legend, she is nothing less than the queen of soul. His powerful voice and interpretation has crossed the barrier of time. This song Respect is in itself a revolution.

In 1965 Otis Redding launched this theme with a letter asking women to respect their husbands going out to work. The song was versioned by many bands until Aretha Franklin arrived. who agreed to sing it, but in his own way “And then when you get home, I ask you to have just a little respect”.


8. Different languages (Chojin)

“Different languages” is a subject of El Chojin who’s talked about gender-based violence and respect. This Spanish rapper and composer has taken rap to human and social issues. He has even collaborated in campaigns against racism and ill-treatment.

This “different languages” theme narrates a toxic and complex couple relationship, narrating how it becomes entangled because they do not understand each other. It is a portrait of what happens inside many couples, but the
message is clear: we can’t increase violence until we hurt each other.


9. The violet door (Rozalén)

“The violet door” is a strong theme that shakes us to reflect on mistreatment. The theme alludes to violence within the home, narrates a passage about a physical aggression and the feeling of guilt, fear and helplessness that this generates.

The title of the song refers to the feminist movement as a way of saving oneself from gender violence. The color violet has been used as an emblem of feminism and sorority that are a way of relying on a collective to get out of these situations.


10. If I were a boy (Beyoncé)

“If I were a boy by Beyoncé, talks about those things that not all women can enjoy. Although it does not explicitly speak of gender-based violence or abuse, it does portray the marked differences between being a man and being a woman in today’s world.

Women often go out in fear at nightThey are not free to relate with trust, even to talk to someone. And behind that fear and those impediments is the possibility of suffering some kind of violence.

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11. Zero tolerance (Ender)

“Zero Tolerance” is a song that was part of a campaign called “Not anymore.” Concerned about the alarming rise in partner and gender violence, Antena 3 launched a movement to raise awareness about this problem.

The Ender group was in charge of interpreting this songTolerancia cero” (Zero Tolerance), which, with a pop rhythm, interprets a lyric that calls on those who are living this situation to raise their voices and rely on their environment to get out of this terrible situation.


12. Wake up woman (Velvet)

“Wake up, woman.” is a song by the Colombian alternative rock group Aterciopelados. It is aimed specifically at women, to take their place, to flee impositions on their role, and to denounce violence.

Because of the rising numbers of femicides in Latin America, the message is directed specifically at them. It’s a song full of energy and strength. “Women, you have the power, come together, unite, don’t fight.”


13. Hallelujah to the sun (Fito Páez)

“Alleluia al sol” is a theme with the unmistakable style of Fito Paéz. This Argentinean singer-songwriter has enchanted the public with his positive and propositive rhythm, full of airs of hope. With the lyrics of this song makes a call to seek freedom, happiness and to unite to eradicate gender-based violence.

“Because you are never alone in the dark”, “Because no one hurts you and makes you cry”, “Because you never keep to yourself at night”, “Everyone with flags cries out, there is not one less, crime is not passion” No doubt, strong and forceful phrases for reflection.


14. I’m not that woman (Paulina Rubio)

“I’m not that woman.” is a song performed by Paulina Rubio. The lyrics of this song are a call to eradicate the traditional roles of women especially when it comes to relationships.

“You have a false idea of love, it was never a contract or an imposition” is the phrase that begins this song that reflects the need to rethink relationships to make them a safe space for both and not one of violence.


15. I think of your mirá (Rosalía)

“Pienso en tu mirá'” is a song that sounded loud during 2018. Rosalía made a series of songs divided into chapters, and “I think of you look” is the third part that corresponded to the theme of “jealousy”..

The lyrics of the song in the singer’s voice are actually the narration from the perspective of an abusive man. It’s like a way to get into your mind to understand that a macho person has no limits when trying to impose his strength and domination on someone he says he loves, for fear of losing it.


Bibliographic references

  • Mannell, J., & Hawkes, S. (2017). Decriminalisation of gender-based violence is a global health problem. BMJ global health, 2(3), e000438. doi:10.1136/bmjgh-2017-000438.
  • Huecker MR, Smock W. Domestic Violence.(2019). Retrieved from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK499891/ on 30/08/2019.
  • Krantz, G., & Garcia-Moreno, C. (2005). Violence against women. Journal of epidemiology and community health, 59(10), 818-821. doi:10.1136/jech.2004.022756.