Authorities “failed three times” to protect victim of domestic violence who ended up battered to death

Once again the nation is debating authorities’ poor performance when it comes to protecting victims of domestic violence.

The theme burst back into the headlines with a report that the Public Ministry “wasted three opportunities” to help a woman who ended up being bludgeoned to death by the husband she sought protection from.

A working group set up by the government found that instead of actioning mechanisms provided by law, authorities took the bureaucratic route.

“The public prosecutor did nothing to protect her”, explains one of the many reports in the national media today, saying that moves are afoot now to “simplify” measures so that institutions and help can be given to victims much more quickly.

The new rules have been published today in government newspaper Diário da República.

They have been welcomed by APAV, the association that supports victims , which has said legal mechanisms on their own are not enough. It is time to “activate community indignation” so that situations of domestic violence are not able to go on, many times in plain sight.

2017 was in fact the year with the lowest number of deaths for 14 years as a result of domestic violence.

Eighteen women were killed and 23 were victims of attempted murder.

Only four years previously, 37 women died at the hands of their partners, or ex-partners – and the incidents of authorities not acting in time were already prompting support groups to sound alarm bells (click here).

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