Last year, an average of seven children a day were reported as mistreated. That is, 2719 signs of physical and psychological abuse were made where children were victims at juvenile committees. These are preliminary data from the annual report of the National Commission for the Promotion of the Rights and Protection of Children and Young People (CNPDPCJ), as reported in the Diario de Noticias (DN).
Despite the slight decrease in cases compared to 2015, the situations that arrive at the commissions show more and more cruelty in the aggressions, with objects like electric cables, tires, whips or metal spoons, being used. And there were 360 children from 0 to 5 years who were victims of this type of beating. “There has been a dangerous increase in the exposure of minors to cruelty such as domestic violence,” explained Dora Alvarez of the technical team of the National Commission.
In Portugal, more than 12,000 children are exposed to behaviour that affect their well-being, namely domestic violence, and this is the reason for a 30% of the signs of minors in danger made to CPCJ.
In the first quarter of this year alone, the Public Prosecutor’s Office (MP) opened 100 criminal cases for domestic violence against minors, more than a third of the total number of inquiries carried out last year (352), according to data from the Attorney General’s Office. DN. In the first three months, 15 charges were deducted. In all in 2016 54 were deducted.
Physical maltreatment occurred more in the 11 to 14 age group, with 541 cases, followed by the range of 6 to 10 with 523, 15 to 18 with 442 and 0 to 5 years with 360 cases. Corporal punishment also increased in 2016 – 100 cases compared to 96 in 2015.
The majority of victims of the 832 psychological maltreatment were girls (50.5%), with the exception of the age group of 6 to 10 years, in which there were more boys (245) to be humiliated or offended by their parents. Most of the assaults were reported by hospitals.