The dark side of Valentine’s Day. More than 2,000 complaints of dating violence in 2020

Seven out of ten young people surveyed believe that control or persecution in the relationship is legitimate.

The PSP received more than 2,000 complaints last year about dating violence, most of which were reported by ex-boyfriends, which represented a 5% decrease compared to complaints received in 2019, that police force said on Sunday.

In 2020, 2,006 complaints were registered by the PSP, of which 1,116 related to dating violence between ex-boyfriends and 890 to ongoing dating relationships, “transversal to all age groups”, announced this Sunday, Valentine’s Day, the PSP in a statement, noting that the data are not yet definitive as they are “in consolidation”.

In view of the numbers, PSP says it finds that there was a decrease of about 5% of complaints, compared to the year 2019, years in which it registered 2,100 complaints.

“We believe that the proactive work of the PSP also contributes to this decrease, namely through awareness raising actions with the school community”, he says in the document, concluding that, despite the decrease in the number of actions in the last school year, due to the pandemic and online education, “PSP has managed to get the message across” on this issue.

Early intervention, explains the PSP, is one of the principles of action enshrined in the legislation of minors in Portugal, recognizing the negative effects on the formation of children’s personality when exposed to violence in a family environment.

“The replication of this behaviour in any affective bond and, specifically, in dating relationships, is an indication of the need for specialized intervention “, he says, recalling that violence is neither tolerable nor excusable, but “those who attack need to be helped “.

Violence in dating relationships can be physical, psychological or emotional, social, sexual and economic, and insulting, threatening, offending, assaulting, humiliating, persecuting or debauching intimacy are forms of this violence.

“About 85% of the reports of dating violence presented to the PSP in 2020 involve psychological violence”, he adds, concluding that physical violence is present in 70% of the complaints and that approximately 50% of these cases occur inside the homes, and only 27% on public roads.

During the academic year 2019/2020, within the scope of the Escola Segura Program, the PSP claims to have carried out 1,346 awareness-raising actions on the theme, involving 28,573 students nationwide.

“This proactive work with the school community contributed to the fact that, annually, 40% of the reports of violence in courtship reach the PSP through the Escola Segura Program”, he also says, appealing to the report of violence, whether or not in courtship.

A study by UMAR – Union of Alternative Women and Response to almost 5,000 young people, presented on Friday, concludes that almost seven out of ten young people surveyed find legitimate control or persecution in the dating relationship and almost 60% admitted have already been the victim of violent behaviour .

Data from the 2020 study conclude that 67% of young people consider dating violence to be legitimate, of whom 26% think control is legitimate, 23% persecution, 19% sexual violence, 15% psychological violence, 14% a violence through social networks and 5% physical violence.

Among these nearly 5,000 young people, whose average age is 15 years old, 25% find it acceptable to insult during an argument, another 35% consider it acceptable to enter social networks without authorization, 29% who can be pressured to kiss and 6% even understand that can push / slap without leaving marks.

With regard to gender differences, it is always on the part of boys that legitimation is greatest, with emphasis on the “pressure to have sex” behaviour, where legitimacy among boys (16%) is four times higher than girls (4%).

 


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