Portugal mobilizes against domestic violence, fulfilling a day of national mourning in memory of the victims, given the succession of cases that this year has already resulted in several deaths.
The measure, determined by the Government, precedes the celebrations of International Women’s Day (March 8), for which demonstrations and other initiatives are planned throughout the country.
In addition to women – who represent the vast majority of victims, there are numerous risk situations involving minor children.
The President of the Republic (PR), Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa, called for the mobilization of society in the fight against a phenomenon that jumps daily to the pages of newspapers and in which the intervention of authorities and institutions is often late.
“Portugal has agreed with sad news about the brutal increase in domestic violence, which has already resulted in 12 tragic deaths,” the President wrote on 22 February on the official website of the Presidency on the occasion of European Day of Victims of Crime.
Today, the prime minister, António Costa, is meeting for the first time with a technical team that will present concrete proposals on domestic violence within three months.
But for the Minister of the Presidency and Administrative Modernization, Mariana Vieira da Silva, this is also a fight that must mobilize all civil society, against banalization and indifference, before a problem that the PR has already classified as “a scourge”.
Among the various initiatives planned for Women’s Day is a feminist strike convened by Network 8 March. The manifesto she presented last month marks a position against inequalities, whether in wages or domestic work.
The feminist collective integrates various associations, political organizations, unions and individual participation.
Striking centres were set up in various parts of the country, with the challenge of carrying out a strike on salaried and domestic work, on the provision of care, but also on the consumption of goods and services. A student strike is still planned.
According to Manifesto 8M, in Portugal women represent 80% of victims of domestic violence and 90.7% of victims of sexual violence.
For Saturday a march in Lisbon is planned under the motto “Nós Por Elas“, and a demonstration organized by the Democratic Movement of Women (MDM).
The Spanish news agency Efe has followed closely the cases in Portugal, reporting in its line situations reported by media.
The reports on the subject, arrests, and sentences are almost daily, which have returned to the centre of the controversy and the political debate a judge: Neto de Moura.
Already known for other decisions to the detriment of victims in cases of assaults on women, it decided last month to remove the electronic bracelet from a man convicted of domestic violence after breaking his eardrum.
In one of its controversial judgments, in addition to interpretations of the Penal Code of 1886, the judge of the Court of Appeal of Porto invoked the Bible in the exercise of its functions and even civilizations that punish adultery with the death penalty to justify the violence committed against a wife on the part of the husband and the lover, who were sentenced to suspended sentence at first instance.
Associations working on victim support call for more justice action and enforcement of existing law. The watchword is “Enough.”
The intervention of the authorities already occurs in situations of extreme violence in the majority of cases known.
On the 25th, Guard’s GNR detained a 39-year-old man for the alleged crime of domestic violence in Sabugal county.
There were suspicions of physical and psychological assaults on the 36-year-old woman and two younger children. The guards seized three shotguns, two airguns, an alarm pistol, a machete, 49 cartridges of various calibres, and two boxes with bullets for an airgun.
Present to court, the detainee was released, with Term of Identity and Residence.
Casa Abrigo de Pombal, in the district of Leiria, received between 2001 and 2018, a total of 1,007 mothers and children, victims of domestic violence.
One of the women who found shelter there decided to leave. She left on a Friday and was shot dead by her partner on Monday.
Feelings of guilt, fear, shame and financial dependence are among the causes that prevent victims from seeking help and breaking the bond with the abuser.
“In a small village, one tries to hide. Society is going to say: ‘poor girl behaves’ or ‘it’s because something’s done’,” one of the women who started from scratch in Pombal told.
Today he knows that if there are psychological threats, then they will be physical and the tendency is to “get worse a little bit.” This little bit “one day may be the end“.