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Silent Suffering in Portugal: When Justice Falters in the Face of Domestic Violence

Joining the ranks of thousands like Alexandra, whose luck spared her from becoming a statistic, they bear the same scars.

They carry fears and apprehensions beyond imagination, and possess more courage than meets the eye. They are direct victims of violence.

"My father never hit me, but he certainly hurt me. He's also my aggressor," emphasizes Alexandra. The lives of Alexandra, Inês, and Cláudia all take a turn from the day they witnessed the first sign of abuse.

"Why do some manage to escape while others don't?

There's no determinism. What used to be normalcy is lost. It will depend a lot on what comes next, on how they will go through the mourning process, on personal characteristics.

They always need support," highlights Elisabete Brasil, in charge of the Observatory of Murdered Women at UMAR.

A recently unveiled doctoral research indicates that the children of domestic violence victims fail in school five times more than other children.

Miguel Rodrigues, commissioner and head of the Loures precinct, analyzed academic years from 2003/2004 to 2014/2015 and found that these children and youth experience a retention rate of 56.3%, almost four times higher than other students (10.5%).

The majority of these academic setbacks (87%) occurred after an episode of domestic violence.

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17 sept. 2023
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