FLAD decided to make a donation to theAssociação Portuguesa de Apoio à Vítima (APAV) to support the costs of 6 Victim Support Rooms for one year, an essential tool to support victims of crime and which are the first step towards breaking the cycle of violence. Two rooms will be supported in the Azores, and one in Porto, Lisbon, Vila Real and Setúbal.

Domestic violence is, unfortunately, a tragedy that is perpetuated. The pandemic only aggravated this situation. In the first half of this year alone, 12.178 reports were made to PSP and GNR for domestic violence. 11 people were killed: eight women, two men and one child.

The cycle of violence is often long-term. Until a victim understands that it’s not her/his fault and that they have rights in these situations, the process can be long. And this is an essential part of the work of APAV, an association that is already known by the majority of the Portuguese population, and which for 31 years has been working with victims, their families and friends, in their defense.

Unfortunately, APAV’s work not only remains necessary, but is increasingly important. FLAD has decided to make a donation to support these six Victim Support Rooms because these are the heart of the information and support service for victims of various types of crime and violence.

This is where a person who seeks APAVis received – a service that is free, confidential, personalized and direct with the victim, their friends and family. When they are received, these people are welcomed in a kind way, with an area and kit for the children who accompany them, creating a friendly space, which aims to transmit calm energy and relieve the suffering of those who have been through so much.

Sometimes acts of violence and crime cause a great disruption in people’s lives, leading to feelings of embarrassment, shame, fear and humiliation for a long time. APAVsupports the victim in overcoming the impact of the crime (emotional, psychological, physical, financial, and others) and helps in mitigating its negative effects.

In these spaces, the victim feels safe, protected, heard, valued, recognized and understood. This is where it begins most of the time, the first step towards breaking the cycle of violence. 65% of the reported cases are situations of continued violence and where the victim realizes that he/she is not alone, that he/she has rights and that she/he can follow another path. But not only:

  • It serves to screen the context and the severity of the dangerous situation, identify and provide victims with tools and psychological and emotional support, monitor and evaluate victims of violence and crime, thus ensuring a valid, swift, and effective response to the needs and requests for help received.
  • It also serves to encourage reporting, inform, empower and help the victim to exercise his or her rights and enact his/her victim status, such as initiating the stages of the criminal process, what support he/she has available and subsequent monitoring of the victim in due diligence.
  • It is used to continue to follow-up and monitor ongoing cases and victim processes.

How to help?

Helping APAVis not only contributing financially to a great cause. It is also:

  • Strengthen a support network that has helped more than 360.000 people since its inception, in 1990.
  • It is to directly and indirectly support victims of violence and crime in Portugal, preventing and minimizing the traumatic consequences that a crime leaves on the victim.
  • It is to train and qualify technicians and volunteers (about 200) who provide psychological, legal, social and emotional support to victims of crime and violence, including their family and friends.
  • It is to help raise awareness and information of the general population and/or strategic audiences.
  • It is to promote the rights of the victim of crime in Portugal, through the defense and affirmation of the rights of victims in society and the recognition, valorization and enforcement of the victim’s status in national territory.

You can do this through a single donation, or become a regular contributor. If you did not want or do not have the means to contribute directly, there are other ways to support this cause, such as choosing APAV as an organization to whom you want to consign the 0.5% of your IRS each year when you submit your income statement or even choose APAV for fundraisers on social media channels that allow to do so on your birthday. Helping is easier than you think. Check how to do it here: https://apav.pt/apav_v3/index.php/pt/quero-ajudar/particulares.

Let’s help?