Violence by omission

A form of violence that takes place in situations of neglect, overlooking or inaction. It denounces the fact that “we do something by doing nothing” and that, by ignoring violence, we perpetuate systemic structures of oppression.

Violence by omission


There are multiple acts of violence that happen around us constantly. Some we see, some we don’t. But we know they’re there. It has been studied that the more bad news a person receives, the more their ability to articulate an empathic response decreases. Our minds are able to jump from a terrible piece of news to a video of a cute cat in the blink of an eye. It’s a defense mechanism which enables psychological survival: our reality is complex and overwhelming but we need to keep on moving.

Violence is ever-present in Barcelona: from hate crimes, daily suicides and domestic abuse, to the inequalities designed into the very fabric of our society.

When we add them up, the numbers paint a truly horrifying picture, and understandably it can be all too easy to look the other way. But whether we see it or not,  today in Barcelona 18 of our neighbours will be evicted from their homes, which by the end of the month means 540 people without a roof over their head.

Crónica Global Editorial (2021) “Cataluña, líder en desahucios en el primer trimestre de 2021”. Crónica Global (online)

detail omission


The so-called compassion fatigue has been known clinically since 1992 and at first its affectation was limited only to health personnel who live daily with physically and emotionally traumatic situations, which makes them deplete their reservoir of empathy. But, as a sign of the times we live in, that compassion fatigue, that syndrome of lack of empathy has spread to society as a whole.

Related concepts

Selective neglect:  A business principle that consciously allows us to willfully neglect the distractions that drive us to wastefulness, feelings of defeat, and attempts at manipulation. It filters what we can afford to ignore. The word is “neglect” because we acknowledge its presence. We know it exists. It’s just that we choose not to nourish it with undeserved attention.

La Vanguardia Editorial (2018) “Una sociedad sin empatía”. La Vanguardia (online) Crown, Kayode (2016) “Unveiling Purpose and Motivation” Greatlight books


Go back home

A project by Domestic Data Streamers