A television Tarot card reader is in hiding today after a clip of her advising a victim of domestic violence to try spoiling her husband and treating him as a mother would treat a son has gone viral over the Internet – with thousands, from journalists to victim support organisations, registering their outrage.
As battered woman’s rescue Projecto Criar explained, the tarot card reader did not even know the degree of violence meted out to the 64-year-old caller.
“To not even advise the woman to go to the authorities could prove fatal,” Leonor Valente Monteiro, president of the Porto-based association explained, adding that the card reader’s attitude reflects that of the country.
“We live in a country that silences its victims and shines the focus on their behaviour, not on that of their aggressors,” she told Público, adding that Portugal as a society “believes romantic love will resolve anything”.
The hullabaloo which shows no sign of calming expects some kind of explanation today from SIC TV, which screened the controversial programme A Vida Nas Cartas – o Dilema, presented by Carla Duarte last Thursday.
Ms Duarte this far has remained uncontactable.
But the clip clearly shows her telling her caller to get on with the marriage she has chosen, “however difficult it might be”.
“When we give love, we receive love, even if it is in less quantity. When we give violence, we receive violence. If you receive violence, cut this cycle and don’t give violence – even if it is in words, and…” she stresses this part “…however difficult this might be”.
Ms Duarte then advises the caller with a teleprompter’s dream smile to stay calm, patient and mother-like with her husband “so that things do not get worse”.
“You know him well,” she concludes. “And know how he can be.”
Público explains the woman had called, worried that she had a malignant tumour and that her husband might be having an affair.
The ‘plus point’ of her conversation with Ms Duarte is that she has no tumour, and “for now” her husband does not have a woman on the side.
As Daniel Cotrim of APAV, the Portuguese association for the Support of the Victim, told Público, he is considering complaining to the ERCS, the authority that regulates media standards.
“Programmes like this are seen by lots of people,” he explained, among them victims of domestic violence.
It is “fundamental” that these people are not made to feel the problem is of their doing, and that their aggressors should be understood.