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300 Victims of Domestic Violence Monitored Annually

Approximately 300 victims of domestic violence are monitored annually by the Madeira Social Security Institute Victims of Domestic Violence Support Teams.

During a conference at the Institute of Social Security to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women Augusta Aguiar, the Regional Secretary for Social Inclusion and Citizenship, reported that from January to June this year, ninety-seven women had requested help for the first time.

In a debate on domestic abuse characterisation, which was discussed throughout the meeting, analysis of the available data showed that 94% of the those subjected to domestic violence are women of whom 42% are aged between 35 and 49 years old and in full or part time work. Aggressors fell into two main categories.  In 50% of the cases they were the victim of abuse from a spouse/partner while in 45% the abuser was suffering from either alcohol or drug addiction.

Augusta Aguiar further stressed that the fight against domestic violence is a challenge for everyone, and believes that that only a society without any victims can be considered “a solid society, a cohesive society, and above all, the type of society she wants for Madeira.

There are currently has three shelters which can look after 46 victims of abuse as well as accommodating two families.  Under new guidelines created by the Regional Government, a plan for emergency housing for victims of abuse will soon be implemented.

According to a World Health Organisation study, approximately one in three women worldwide are the victims of some form of abuse.  However, men are also abused by wives/partners.  In 2017 a study in Portugal showed that 23,753 cases of domestic violence were reported to the GNR and PSP of which 20,186 were against women (84.9%).

Samantha Gannon

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