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References Text
Field visit and second regional parliamentary seminar of the Portuguese “Stop Domestic Violence” Working Group
Faro, 12 November 2007
The parliamentary working group on the “Stop Domestic Violence” campaign, chaired by José Mendes Bota, the contact parliamentarian for Portugal, held a second regional seminar in Faro, attended by Maria de Belém, Sónia Fertuzinhos and Maria de Rosário, members of the Portuguese National Assembly, Manuel Lisboa, academic and member of the Council of Europe’s Task Force, António Ventinhas, Deputy Prosecutor, José Apolinário, Mayor of Faro, Jorge Botelho, Regional Director of Social Security, and the directors of the Albufeira and Faro residential centres. The members of parliament also visited the victim support centre in Portimão and three shelters in the region. Algarve is one of the most poorly equipped regions of Portugal in terms of victim support and protection facilities.
To coincide with the seminar, the Portuguese Parliament’s photographic exhibition on the Council of Europe’s campaign against domestic violence was on display at the Faro municipal library.


During the 3rd Regional Conference “Parliaments United in Combating Domestic Violence Against Women”, in Ponta Delgada (Azores), Mr Mendes Bota (MP) advocated the need for some changes to the Portuguese Law, concerning in particular the provision that allows perpetrators to walk free even if caught in flagrante delicto. According to Mr Mendes Bota, most violent assaults occur outside the Courts’ service hours (night-time and weekends) , and do not take into consideration the fact that many perpetrators continue to commit violent acts. These situations endanger the lives of victims, who are mainly women, and must be stopped.

In the context of the conference’s programme of activities, the Portuguese Parliament’s Working Group on the “Campaign to Combat Violence against Women”, composed of a Delegation of MPs, headed by Mr Mendes Bota, visited a number of Non-Governmental Organisations which provide support to women who have been victims of domestic violence in Ponta Delgada. The MPs were impressed with the work of these organisations.