A TOTAL of 851 domestic abuse cases were reported in the Algarve in 2006, two per cent more than in 2005.
The national victim support organisation, APAV, released a report, in which 90 per cent of cases reported in 2006, were related to domestic abuse.
In 2005, at total of 1,365 criminal cases were reported to local APAV offices in Portimão, Albufeira, Faro, Tavira and Loulé.
The majority of aggressors were partners and spouses.
Despite the fall in domestic abuse cases in the Algarve, the number of foreign women reporting abuse has risen.
The majority were reported to the Albufeira centres and the foreign women were predominantly from eastern Europe, Brazil and Angola.
According to APAV, most victims of domestic abuse were aged between 26 and 45 and were married with young children. On a national level, 15,758 crimes were reported to APAV in 2006, nearly 3,000 more than in 2005. Of the total criminal reports, 86 per cent were crimes of domestic violence, a total of 13,603 cases.
Physical and psychological abuse accounted for 54.6 per cent of all domestic abuse cases known to APAV in 2006, a total of 8,603.
APAV said that “these figures do not necessarily suggest that more crimes against people have being committed – it could mean that more people are reporting them”. A spokesperson for APAV said that it is possible to see this in a positive light, where more aggressors are being punished for their crimes and more victims are brave enough to come forward.
More than 50 per cent of reported domestic abuse cases were against married women, almost 60 per cent of the aggressors were married.
In domestic abuse cases reported to APAV in 2006, 74.2 per cent of victims and 65.7 per cent of aggressors were Portuguese.
Domestic abuse against the male population has increased in recent years, but last year fell slightly. Nine per cent of criminal cases in 2006, saw men as the victim, three per cent fewer than in 2005.
According to APAV, nine people were killed at the hands of abusive partners or former partners in 2006, one more than was reported in 2005.
APAV can be contacted on 707 200 077 (English spoken).