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Zero support for most children affected by homicide

childpovertyMost children affected by homicides receive zero support, leaving them vulnerable and more likely to have long-term behavioural problems.

A report from the Portuguese Association for Victim Support Most (APAV) states that it supports 10 to 14 orphaned children a year and considers that these minors are being neglected by the State.

The head of the Support Network for Relatives and Friends of Victims of Homicide (RAFAVH), part of APAV, admitted that "there clearly are many children and young people who are directly victims of situations of homicide that do not receive specialised support after such events."

Bruno Brito said that the APAV lends support in "about a third to a quarter" of the approximately 100 homicides a year in Portugal, with more than one person being helped in each case because spouses, children and parents all can be affected.

Among those left in vulnerable situations are orphaned children, in cases where one of the parents was killed and the other either committed suicide or was arrested.

According to Bruno Brito, the children helped by the APAV represent about 20% of the total number of people supported.

Brito said these people come to APAV thanks mainly to a referral system, used by the Judicial Police, the National Institute of Medical Emergency and the National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences.

"There surely are children who do not have this support," because this depends on families accepting help, unlike in countries such as the United Kingdom, where the victim referral system is automatic and covers all people who suffer any crime.

According to the Social Security Institute, in 2017, there were 590 children and youngsters people in State custody due to the effects of domestic violence, with 23 living in shelters.

Brito admitted that, "the needs of these children are being neglected as the system only acts when there are problems," such as when the child becomes a young delinquent, displays aggressive behavior, has learning problems or is bullied at school.

Bruno Brito said that children do not deal with death nor do they mourn in the same way as adults, a misunderstanding that can lead to isolation.




0 #2 Elsa 2019-03-16 19:47
Ed: obviously there is real trauma behind each of these events so not a flippant topic but is the 100 or so homicides a year APAV refer to - two a week - just domestic oriented ? That other murders in Portugal come under different categories? Is this not something the judiciary need alerting to; so that the current macho option of 'killing your woman because you felt like it and she was late with my jantar' is increasingly seen as wrong?
0 #1 Tweeter 2019-03-15 20:13
There is no mention as to "how" the general public can support this organization??? (APAV)