Domestic violence is an important public health problem and an intolerable and unacceptable social reality which demands a strong action and the congregation of multiple efforts of the whole society to defend the integrity and the dignity of women (Walby & Towers, 2017; WHO, 2002).
Facing the highly significant number of mortal victims of domestic violence since the beginning of 2019, the Portuguese Government decreed March 7 as the Day of National Grief in honor of the victims of domestic violence and their families (Decree nº 8/2019, March 6).
In this day, Portuguese Council of Ministers approved a set of measures to prevent and combat domestic violence. The measures focus on three priorities areas: 1) improving collection, processing and cross-checking of official quantitative data; 2) improving victims’ protection mechanisms within 72 hours after filling a complaint and 3) reinforcing training models, including other areas of intervention (e.g., follow-up, care for victims, justice response).
However, social and political changes do not end here. International Women's Day celebration was also historical in Portugal this year. The country joined the appeal of the International Feminist Strike, an international movement that fight against gender-based violence, which has become increasingly serious and deadly in response to the progressive emancipation of women throughout the world.
The Feminist Strike in Portugal, which was organized by approximately 30 collectives, tooked place in 13 cities: Albufeira, Amarante, Aveiro, Braga, Coimbra, Covilhã, Évora, Fundão, Lisboa, Porto, São Miguel-Ponta Delgada, Vila Real and Viseu.
For many people Feminist Strike of March 8 is seen as a turning point, not only by the millions of women who mobilized in many countries of the world, but also for having managed to organize historical demonstrations in our country such as the accession of five unions.
From this year on, International Women's Day is no longer associated with the market of flowers and candies to become a day of struggle, resistance and demand for women rights.
Diário da República (2019). Decreto n.º 8/2019, de 6 de março. Lisboa: Diário da República.
República Portuguesa (2019). Comunicado do Governo Português. Retrieved from https://www.portugal.gov.pt/pt/gc21/comunicacao/documento?i=conselho-de-ministros-de-7-de-marco-de-2019-medidas-de-prevencao-e-combate-a-violencia-domestica
Walby, S., & Towers, J. (2017). Measuring violence to end violence: mainstreaming gender. Journal of Gender-Based Violence, 1(1), 11-31.
World Health Organization (2002). World report on violence and health. Geneva: WHO.