This was SCP’s first face to face seminar for two years due to Covid-19 restrictions and brought together those NGOs and government who have dealings with the victims of domestic violence. The focus and aim of the seminar is to create greater awareness in recognising the signs and handling of domestic violence cases across different cultures.

We thank in particular: Júlio Sousa, Municipal Director of Environment and Sustainable Development, Loulé Municipality representing the Mayor of Loulé, who was unable to attend, and who gave an oppening address.

Also thanks to Carmen Rasquete Secretary General APAV and Dinita Chapagain from Safe Communities Portugal for travelling from Lisbon to make presentations as well as the attendance of Lt Coronel Marco Henriques, Deputy Commander GNR Faro District Territorial Command; Júlio Sousa, Municipal Director of Environment and Sustainable Development (who gave a welcome address) and a representative from the National Centre of Migrants Integration Support (CNAIM).

We were pleased to welcome Carman Rasquete – Secretary General APAV, who gave a comprehensive presentation on the work of APAV with some of the challenges that they face, highlighting that APAV had supported 17.951 victims of Domestic Violence during pandemic (2020 and 2021). She covered their work providing support, intervention emphasising the importance of cooperation between the institutions involved.

We were also very pleased to welcome Marta Chaves - Coordenadora Adjunta - Coordenadora Regional - Programa Nacional para a Prevenção da Violência no Ciclo de Vida - ARS Algarve, who shared her considerable experience of domestic violence from a health perspective. Marta is a Clinical Psychologist, a specialist in Clinical and Health Psychology and included in her many roles she is the Regional Coordinator of the Health Action for Children and Youth at Risk, Health Action on Gender, Violence and the Lifecycle and the Action Plan for the Prevention of Violence in the Health Sector and Assistant-Coordinator of the National Program for the Prevention of Violence in the Lifecycle at the Directorate-General of Health. She shared her experience and the work of DGS concerning domestic violence.

Diana Necker from the Association of Romanian and Moldavian Immigrants of the Algarve (DOINA), gave an overview of their work, the situations of migrants which they had helped and the various types of abuses that they had encountered. She highlighted the controlling nature of the abuser and the impact this had on victim, and made recommendations on how victims should proceed with assistance in such circumstances.

Dinita Chapagain from Safe Communities Portugal gave a very interesting presentation with plenty of engagement from the audience, on the different, languages, culture and beliefs of the Indian, Nepalese, Pakistani and Bangladeshi communities in Portugal and their vulnerabilities. This presentation was well received and the GNR, APAV and the National Centre of Migrants Integration Support (CNAIM), based in Faro, expressed an interest in learning more from Dinita’s experience.

Captain Jorgé Barbosa from GNR Faro District, who oversees the investigation of domestic violence case explained the laws relating to domestic violence, the structure of the domestic violence unit, based in Faro and Portimão and the process concerning the safety and needs of victims who had been subject to abuse. It was very interesting to learn the developments have been taking in particular collaboration with NGOs in respect of this sensitive issue. Both the domestic violence teams attended the event.

All five presentations were really excellent, informative and well delivered in English and I am sure everyone learned a great deal together with the close interaction and exchange of ideas between presenters and audience. Thanks also to Julia Cardoso APAV Faro district for co-organising.

We encourage more of those involved in dealing with domestic violence, where the victims maybe from different cultures within the migrant community, will take the opportunity to attend and learn more from such seminars in the future, or offer their assistance as volunteers to various NGOs dealing with this subject.

David Thomas


Safe Communities Portugal