Association registers increase in complaints of sexual abuse

in News · 27-07-2020 15:04:00 · 1 Comments

The association Quebrar o Silêncio (Break the Silence) received this year about 10 new cases per month of men and boys who were the victims of sexual violence, an increase of 18 percent compared to 2019.

According to Quebrar o Silêncio, a total of 310 men and boys sought support during the association's three and a half years of activity.

The association is also beginning to see an increase in the number of young people seeking help.

“Although the majority of our cases are men in their 30s and 40s, we are beginning to see more and more young people in their 20s looking for support. They are still the minority, it is true, but for us this is a symbolic increase, as it means that we are reaching more survivors”, says, in a statement, the founder of the association, Ângelo Fernandes.

The association also saw an increase in support requests from families and friends: eight new monthly cases, an increase of 30 percent compared to 2019.

"It is still too early to understand whether the gradual increase in new cases is due to the covid-19 pandemic and confinement, but we know that some of the new cases are related to the current circumstances", says Ângelo Fernandes.

The same official says that “for many men, work and activities outside the home help to manage the traumatic impact of abuse”, emphasising that “these are strategies that, according to the men themselves, help them to stay busy and avoid letting their mind being filled by 'flashbacks' of abuse, unwanted memories, cyclical thoughts and painful feelings”.

“Being confined at home prevents men from using these strategies, which makes them more susceptible and vulnerable. For some men, this is a scenario that leads to depressive symptoms and a significant increase in anxiety”, he argues.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, Quebrar o Silêncio has offered psychological support by video call.

In addition to the support provided to men and boys, Quebrar o Silêncio is currently preparing training for professionals in the Alentejo region on “Sexual violence against men and boys - theory and intervention”.


Glad to know Portugal News is giving visibility to the "other side of the coin" in the wider issue of sex abuse. Usually newspapers focus on the abuse of "women&children", shamelessly sidelining all the´s heartbreaking. Plus, it doesn´t take being a genius to realize that if young boys and grown men have no where to turn to with these issues(so no compassion, respect, acknowlegment when they´re victims), they´ll have very little motivation to practice compassion,respect,etc towards women. The sidelining of men in many sex abuse articles (for many years, in newspapers written in portuguese) has been a very passive aggressive way of saying they don´t matter. It´s hurtfull and very counter productive to solving the wider pb affecting all sorts of PEOPLE. Please keep it up, P.N..

By guida from Lisbon on 28-07-2020 06:55
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