ACCORDING TO the latest data available, the Portuguese police registered 3,903 crimes of domestic violence in the first quarter of this year, 69 per cent of which were against women at the hands of husbands and partners. The numbers are starting to decrease, but there are still many women who, when filing complaints, are met with social rejection and reprisals.
According to the police, 80 per cent of cases come to their knowledge through the victim submitting a complaint at the station, while the rest are a result of the police catching the perpetrators in the act. In the last five years, the police have made 499 arrests under such circumstances.
In the year 2000, 6,958 domestic violence crimes were reported, in 2001, 7,601, in 2003, 10,005, and in 2004, 8,453 – figures that show a decrease of 15.5 per cent. In 2004, the majority of the victims were women (7,152).
Six per cent of domestic violence cases involve children attacking their parents, occurring especially when drug addicts are involved. One per cent of these cases end fatally.
During the course of this year, the police created 142 special facilities to attend to domestic violence cases, aimed at women, children, the elderly and the disabled.