Greater financial capacity “will exist in the state budget" for 2020, predicted Vieira da Silva, who together with the justice minister, Francisca Van Dunem, the attorney-general, Lucília Gago, and the secretary of state for citizenship and equality, Rosa Monteiro, visited the Office of Victim Support (GAV) of the Loures Department of Investigation and Criminal Action (DIAP) of the Office of Public Prosecutions.
During the visit, which served to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, van Dunem explained that the choice of Loures was due to geographical "proximity" and organisational criteria, and that the day's initiative was aimed at assessing how "things are working". She added that she came away with the impression of "good coordination of GAV experts with magistrates” and stressed the importance of continuing this work to eradicate violence against women and domestic violence.
For her part, Vieira da Silva stressed that the fight against the "scourge" that is violence against women will only be effective if it involves "different public services: the Office of Public Prosecutions, police and non-governmental organisations.” The problem needs a rapid "integrated response", she said.
She pledged the government to continue to invest in the area, with more "budgetary capacity" to come in next year’s state budget.
In view of the high number of reports of and investigations into domestic violence – which is a public crime – the attorney-general acknowledged the need for a "congregation of efforts of various entities, including the executive branch” to ensure the “material and human means" that can effectively permit "more robust combat of domestic violence".
While it is "not unknown” that there is currently a shortage of public prosecutors, she said she “believed that the executive is committed” to resolving the problem.
As regards Loures in particular, Gago said that local magistrates did not point to any significant local increase in investigations relating to domestic violence.
The Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV) recorded more than 100,000 crimes relating to domestic violence from 2013 to 2018. It supported more than 43,000 people, 86 percent of them women.
Data released by the government show that 33 people have been killed this year in the context of domestic violence: 25 women, one child and seven men.