Deadly domestic violence cases increase  

Twenty-two women in Portugal have been killed so far this year by “the man with whom they shared an intimate relationship”, according to a report by feminist organisation UMAR.

Last year, at the end of the first six months, 20 cases had been registered, a number which had doubled by the end of the year.

According to Elisabete Brasil, the head of the UMAR group, the summer months are the worst in terms of deadly domestic violence cases because people tend to spend more time together, which “sometimes leads to serious conflicts”.

The murders frequently take place after several violent assaults on the women. Elisabete Brasil says that in some cases the women report their partners to the authorities due to these expressions of violence and more importance needs to be given to these incidents.

Although there are no official studies about the effects of the economic crisis on these relationships, João Lázaro, president of the Portuguese Association for Victim Support, believes that it becomes “harder for people to abandon the complicated relationships they are in”. Also, in the majority of cases, the fear of destroying the family’s core or losing children in the process is greater, making people retract, he said.