…International Day for Elimination of Violence Against Women sees marches in streets and appeal from President
Friday November 25 is the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women – and it is being marked in Portugal by marches by women’s associations; by an appeal from President Marcelo and with the news that a special support platform is being put together in collaboration with PSP and GNR police stations – the idea being that women will receive much greater timely attention.
On his official website this morning, President Marcelo has described the scale of domestic violence in Portugal as “glaring”. Everyone needs to become more involved to combat violence against women in its multiple forms, says the statement.
“The irreplaceable and extraordinary role of women in Portuguese society, conquered by their own merit, obliges each and every one of us to act, to denounce and prevent all and any form of violence against women in our country”, wrote the head of State.
“On this day and on all the days that the future will bring, let us know how to live up to the indelible contribution of Portuguese women to Portugal’s development, eliminating and combating, in its many forms, violence against women, and not condoning complicit silences or comfortable omissions.”
Lusa reports that associations supporting women’s rights are holding marches in various towns and cities, particularly Lisbon, Porto, Braga, Coimbra, Viseu, Viana do Castelo and Vila Real – while there are debates and vigils in other locations, as well as ongoing campaigns focused on alerting citizens to the importance of ‘saying no’ to violence and machismo.
So far 2022 has seen a 6.3% increase in complaints about domestic violence compared to figures for last year: in all police received 13,285 complaints up till the end of October; 802 suspects were arrested (a 35% increase on arrests in 2021) and 21 women have died at the hands of partners/ former partners – a number close on the total number killed last year, in 12 months, of 23.
Thus the new online platform may well start to make some kind of difference.
Says CM, “the idea is that from the moment of filing a complaint, everything goes forwards much more quickly. Aside from the intervention of security forces and the Public Ministry (for judicial proceedings), this future platform will allow for the actioning of social support for victims”.
The details were floated yesterday by minister for interior administration José Luís Carneiro, during the signing of a protocol between the PSP police and Loures borough council inaugurating a 7th ‘safe space’ in the Greater Lisbon area.
These “Espaço(s) Vida” are places where victims can not only report domestic violence, but receive social and psychological support for themselves and family members.
Six already exist: two in Lisbon, one in Oeiras, one in Cascais, another in Sintra and one in Amadora. An eighth is planned for Odivelas shortly.
“What we are preparing in the government is to give security forces the technical capacity to accelerate cases”, explained Mr Carneiro.