A five-year-old has become the latest minor caught up in an extreme case of domestic violence: this time the death of her 29-year-old mother in Salvaterra de Magos.
Cláudia Gomes was shot three times in the head by her former lover who later handed himself in to police after abandoning the child on land close to the home he used to share with her mother in Barreiro, south of Lisbon.
As police are beginning to piece together the build up to the killing, stories are emerging of arguments in the past, violence and threats by former lover Pedro Teixeira that he would kill Ms Gomes – all because their relationship of three years ended during the summer.
According to Correio da Manhã’s ‘Domestic violence radar’, a third of Portugal’s incidents of domestic violence this year have been witnessed by children.
There have been 18 domestic violence ‘horror stories’ since January: the majority of them women killed by estranged, former or even current husbands/ partners.
But there have also been other barbaric incidents, like that of a grandmother whose throat was cut by her adopted grandson, a disabled son drowned in a well by his mother, an adult daughter killed by her mother, a 9-year-old battered to death by her father and stepmother, and an elderly mother slowly starved by her 53-year-old son.