Club of Costa del Sol, Spain

The Club of Costa del Sol has been assisting women experiencing domestic violence since 2008. They have gone from informing the local foreign community about available resources, to being ever more hands-on over the past four years.


Domestic violence isolates those experiencing it, something which is worsened for women who are foreign to the country they live in. By assisting women going through domestic violence, the Soroptimists of Costa del Sol ensure they get the help they need, wherever they are from. During the acute phase of the crisis that means arranging for emergency accommodation, food, and a go-bag for survivors and their children.  Trained Soroptimists assist foreign women survivors with insufficient Spanish to navigate their way through the Spanish system. They are given support with paperwork, official visits to authorities, medical and psychological assistance, legal representation, financial assistance or aid in finding employment, as well as put in contact with schools, if children are involved.


Collaboration with local authorities and NGOs has been key to providing efficient and effective support. The Spanish Soroptimists created ‘The Magic Book’ to inform the local police about what they do when a critical situation arises.  It outlines who is involved in the project, their role, as well as including a list of Soroptimists who can meet with survivors in the acute stage.  The ‘Magic Book’ also provides information for survivors themselves in Spanish, English, German, and French, and includes a personal letter.


To further their reach, the Soroptimists are part of VIOGENEX (Gender Violence to Foreigners). This group was founded by a Club member, who, while Head of the Mijas Foreigners’ Department, observed the issues foreign women survivors face if they do not speak the language and do not know the system.  The VIOGENEX group works toward improving communication and collaboration among local organisations working with survivors of domestic violence.  These include members of the police departments and the Guardia Civil, the Red Cross, La Cala de Mijas Lions Club, Age Care, Soroptimist International Club of Costa del Sol, and departments of the Mijas Council.