Portugal’s ‘Domestic Violence Day’ marks 500 needless deaths
March 7th is a day of mourning against domestic violence in Portugal with government buildings flying flags at half-mast.
In the first two months of this year, 11 women have died as a result of assault by men in a domestic setting, against 12 being murdered in the 12 months of 2017.
This Jan-Feb figure is the highest number in ten years with the Minister of the Presidency, Mariana Vieira da Silva, stating that in the past 15 years, 500 women in Portugal have died as a result of domestic violence.
Protesters claim anger at the number of court rulings that clearly are sexist and want government action against lenient sentences.
Vieira da Silva declared March 7th as the day of national mourning for victims of domestic violence, “This day is a day in which we should not just remember the victims but show support to their families and collectively renew our sense of purpose towards addressing this battle. People in the country have been culturally conditioned, discouraged to comment or offer support to victims.”
A 2014 European Institute for Gender Equality report, found that 24% of women in Portugal have experienced violence.
Women on Portugal’s islands are at highest risk with Madeira and the Azores taking first and second place in the domestic violence chart of shame, according to Ministry of Internal Affairs figures.