According the Secretary of State for Citizenship and Equality to Rosa Monteiro, the new programme aims to provide support that did no previously exist.

“There will be 31 [teams] across the country, 67 new psychology professionals recruited specifically to work with these people. They will provide very specialised psychological and psychotherapeutic support,” she explained to Lusa agency.

The secretary of state said that "many of them are victims of physical violence directly against them" and that it is increasingly recognised that, even when this does not happen, they are also affected.

“Children and young people who live in a context of violence are always direct victims of domestic violence,” she stressed.

This new programme stems from a tender launched by the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality, to the amount of €2.7 million.

“We are now launching a partnership with the structures of the network, which will hire these highly specialised teams”, explained Rosa Monteiro, adding that the Ordem dos Psicólogos Portugueses “will provide technical supervision and will also feed these teams with technical and scientific knowledge”, over the expected two years of the project.

The Secretary of State said that between 2015 and 2020, there were more than 8,000 children and young people sheltered in the network's structures.

“On average, annually, more than 50 percent of the people taken in in the shelters are children who are, of course, also in a situation of protection, accompanying their mothers”, she added.