Victim Support Centre in Porto takes stock of five years of service

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The Information Office and Victim Support Centre in Porto (GAIV) was established five years ago. During this time, 6.577 people have benefited from this project.

The most usual crime is domestic violence and the victims are predominantly women, between the ages of 30 and 40.

A packed Almeida Garrett Municipal Library auditorium debated Domestic Abuse and Gender Equality with the Porto Metropolitan Command of the Police Force, Porto City Hall and over 70 institutions involved in this project, who have assessed the steps taken towards tackling this crime.

Mayor of Porto, Rui Moreira, addressed some opening words to the audience and explained that the Municipal Equality Plan and the Plan to Combat Domestic Violence- 2018/2021 is aimed at "boosting a concerted victim-prevention and protection action in the direction of rehabilitation of victims and also the training and qualification of the professionals who operate in this area".

Thus, the City Hall makes available a multidisciplinary team, from the Municipal Department of Social Action and Social Development that "provides services and assistance to domestic violence victims".

Also, the Municipal Housing policy has defined special criteria for solving re-housing needs in the context of domestic abuse.

"From 2015, the Municipal Company Domus has submitted 19 applications for Social Housing in the context of domestic violence", Mayor Rui Moreira stated.

The Commander of Porto Metropolitan Police Force, Miguel Mendes, explained that the creation of the Information Office and Victim Support Centre (GAIV) has enabled the "creation of more reasonable working conditions, jointly with several institutions, encompassing not only violence prevention and victim protection but also criminal investigation in a more coordinated strategy".

The GAIV started functioning in March, in 2013, twenty four seven and it includes a head of office and 16 agents, with specific training in the domestic violence crimes.

Crimes of domestic violence decreased at national level and Porto registers the same trend. It is worth highlighting that in the last five years there were no loss of lives, in the context of the GAIV intervention.