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Fact sheet
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Task Force
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Campaign blueprint
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Campaign material
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National campaigns
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National contacts
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About domestic violence
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Council of Europe recommendation
bullet point Protecting Women Against Violence
Analytical study on the effective implementation of Recommendation Rec(2002)5 on the protection of women against violence in Council of Europe member states
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Stocktaking study on the measures and actions taken in Council of Europe member states (2006)
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Other resources
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Press brief
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Press releases
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Press review
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Launching Conference
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Regional Seminars
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Other events

Final Reports on National Campaign action carried out within the framework of
the Council of Europe Campaign to Combat Violence against Women,
including Domestic Violence

Thematic areas of the Blueprint

1. Legal and policy measures

In April 2007, under the Council of Europe initiative “Parliaments United in Combating Domestic Violence against Women”, the Portuguese Parliament said that the combat against violence against women, including domestic violence, was a priority on its political agenda in terms of national representation and constituencies. It announced a series of measures that shall be adopted, including the amendment of existing laws on domestic violence, the promotion of the victims’ awareness of their rights and the promotion of a non violent culture, the reinforcement of victim protection and repression of offenders and awareness of all players involved.

The Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Process
The Criminal Code and the Code of Criminal Process were revised and entered into force on 15 September 2007. The provisions related with Domestic Violence are as follows:

    - Domestic violence is for the first time a typified crime (Article 152), punishable by 1 to 5 years of imprisonment. This crime consists in the infliction, whether repeatedly or not, of physical or psychological mistreatment, including corporal punishment, restriction of freedom and sexual offences to a partner, ex-partner, person of the same sex or different sex that have maintained or have a relationship analogous to that of partners, or to a person who is vulnerable due to age, deficiency, sickness, pregnancy or economic dependence living with the perpetrator.
    - Under this revision, the lower limit of the penalty is raised to 2 years whenever the victim is a minor; the crime occurs with the presence of minors; occurs in a shared residence; or occurs in the residence of the victim.
    - If from the facts result a severe offence to mental integrity the agent is punished with 2 to 8 years of imprisonment and if the result is the death of the victim the punishment is 3 to 10 years of imprisonment.
    - The measures for protection of the victims can include: prohibiting the offender from having any contact with them, banning the offender from the victim's home and/or workplace, which can be monitored by technical means from a distance; prohibition of using firearms and holding firearms licence (from 6 months to 5 years); and obligation to attend programmes to prevent domestic violence. The offender can be banned from exercising paternal authority, tutelage or family authority (from 1 to 10 years).
    - Under this new version, the killing of the partner, ex-partner, person of the same sex or different sex with whom the offender has or had a relationship analogous to that of partners, even without cohabitation, or against a progenitor of common descendent in the first degree, is held to be qualified murder, punishable by 12 to 25 years of imprisonment (Article 132).
    - In the new circumstances hatred based on the colour or sex of the victim (among other factors) is also held to be qualified murder.
    - Regarding the prohibitions and behaviour required of the offender, Article 200 of the Code of Criminal Process, under the new law, reinforces the prohibition on the offender to contact certain persons in any way. It also includes new measures such as the prohibition of acquiring or using firearms or handing over, within a fixed term, firearms or other objects which might facilitate the practice of another crime, and the possibility of obliging the offender, with his/her consent, to follow an addiction treatment, in an appropriate institution, should such an addiction have contributed to the criminal act.
    - Article 281, concerning the provisional suspension of a process, determines that such measure is possible when several conditions are met. Under the new law, another condition is included: the absence of a previous application of this measure in the context of a crime of the same nature. A new form is given for two others conditions, the first regarding the absence of a high degree of guilt and the other regards the absence of previous convictions for a crime of the same nature (instead of criminal antecedents).
    - Separately or cumulatively, certain rules of behaviour can be imposed to the offender. The new provision provides for the offender to undertake a service of public interest, besides the payment of some amount to the State or Private Institutions of Social Solidarity. New rules are included: attendance at certain programmes and activities; requirement to live in a certain place and prohibition to frequent certain associations and attend certain meetings.
    - Under the terms of this article, in domestic violence cases which are not aggravated by the result, the prosecution may, at the explicit and voluntary request of the victim, decide to suspend the process, with the agreement of the judge and the offender, once two conditions are met: if no previous application of this measure in the context of a crime of the same nature, and no previous conviction for a crime of the same nature.
    - In cases of domestic violence, the maximum period of the suspension is 5 years (Article 282).
    Act 23/2007, of 4 July
    - Under the new law which regulates the entry, stay, exit and expulsion of foreigners from the national territory (Law 23/2007, of 4 July 2007), if the holder of a residence permit is convicted of domestic violence, an autonomous residence permit can be granted to family members for the usual term (two years) (Article 107).

2. Support and protection for victims
During 2006 and 2007 the National Network of Domestic Violence Centres was set up to provide an integrated response to cases of domestic violence and improve on existing resources (this process had been started in 2005). As this support network is complementary to the shelter network, priority was given to setting up crisis centres in the districts where there was no support for victims. Coverage of the whole country is expected to be achieved by the end of the 1st semester of 2008.
In 2006 an assessment commission was set up to evaluate the shelters and it submitted a final report on its findings. Since that date, all shelters’ internal regulations must be approved in advance by the Commission for Equality and Women’s Rights, so that their organisation is standardised and validated.
Decree-Law 201/2007 of 24 May exempted domestic violence victims from healthcare fees.
A resources guide was published in 2006 listing all existing public and private resources in the area of domestic violence. It was distributed to the entities and practitioners providing direct or indirect support in the area.
Generally speaking, a considerable investment has been made in the quantity and quality of psychosocial responses – crisis centres, emergency help lines and shelters by public bodies and civil society.

3. Data collection
Both the Coordinating Office for Internal Security and the Ministry of Justice collect annually stastistical data on their activity in the framework of the domestic violence phenomena.

In 2007 a national population-based survey on victimisation had started. These results and the final report will be expected during 2008.

4. Awareness Raising
As a member of the Council of Europe and in the framework of the Council of Europe’s Campaign to Combat Violence Against Women, including Domestic Violence, Portugal organised one of the five scheduled regional seminars, which demonstrates the effort and investment in the implementation of the successive national plans against domestic violence and also in the growing involvement of civil society.

Portugal also disseminated the Council of Europe’s Campaign to Combat Violence Against Women, including Domestic Violence, between October of 2007 and January of 2008: most of the Campaign materials were translated and disseminated (flyers, bookmarkers, T-shirts, television and radio spots, posters, for instance). Public and private entities were greatly envolved in this Campaing and these materials were nationally wide spread. During this period a great amount of awareness raising activities were developed, such as training sessions, exhibitions, awareness raising events in schools, sports competitions and leisure spaces.

National Plans of Action

III National Plan against Domestic Violence (2007-2010)
The Third National Plan against Domestic Violence (2007-2010) has five strategic areas of intervention: 1) Informing, raising awareness and educating; 2) Protecting victims and preventing revictimisation; 3) Empowering and reinserting victims of domestic violence; 4) Qualifying professionals; 5) Learning more about the domestic violence phenomenon.
This plan takes a comprehensive approach to domestic violence, providing for measures to protect and empower victims and rehabilitate batterers to prevent revictimisation. This plan also has a grid of indicators for all planned measures with their timelines, implementation and success indicators and the bodies involved.
The fight against domestic violence focuses on producing positive structural changes and on the quality of responses given. It provides for concerted action between public authorities and NGOs.

Assessment of the impact of the Council of Europe Campaign

    1. Is any and every act of violence against women criminalised in your country?

    YES x NO q

Please, see Chapter 1.Legal and policy measures

2. Is violence committed by a partner or former partner punished more severely than violence among strangers (eg. gender based violence as such or the abuse of power will be considered an aggravating circumstance)?

    YES x NO q

Please, see Chapter 1.Legal and policy measures

3. Are victims enabled to seek justice in a human manner (eg. specialised courts on domestic violence, specialised units within the police, the public prosecutor or the judiciary)?

    YES x NO q

Since 2006 Public Security Police had 142 offices for crime reporting and victim support, set up to offer a specialised service, suited for violent crimes and situations when the victims are more vulnerable.
Republican National Guard created the offices “NMUME” (women and children nucleuses). These offices are specially designed to deal with victims of domestic violence. In June 2007 there were 250 offices distributed throughout the national territory, offering privacy and conditions of comfort.
The GNR also receives specialised training to integrate this service and priority is given to women officers, since most victims of domestic violence are women. In June 2007, 29% of the officers in the “NMUME” were women. The number of hours dedicated to the problems of violence against women has been increasing in the different training programmes of this police force.

4. Does a national emergency 24/7 help-line exist free of charge for victims of domestic violence in your country?

    YES x NO q

5. Have safe shelters been set up for victims of domestic violence in an adequate ratio in your member state?

    YES x NO q

There are 34 shelters for victims of domestic violence and their children, corresponding to about 500 places

6. Is administrative data being collected on victims of domestic violence?

    YES x NO q

Coordinating Office for Internal Security and Ministry of Justice.

7. Is domestic violence considered as a human rights violation to be addressed in your legal system?

    YES x NO q