The number of dating violence victims reported by the National Institute of Forensic Medicine and Forensic Science (INMLCF) has increased almost 60 percent in three years between 2014 and 2016, culminating with 767 victims last year.

According to INMLCF statistics on dating violence, which Lusa had access to, 2016 ended with 767 people who were victims of dating violence, an increase of almost 10% compared to 699 in 2015, but an increase of almost 60% when compared with the 484 victims of 2014.

Speaking to the Lusa news agency, the head of the study confirmed that over the last three years there has been an increase in the number of cases reported to the INMLCF in which the victims identify as a dating relationship.

For Cesar Santos, this corresponds not necessarily to a real increase in the number of cases, but rather to a greater awareness of the victims for their rights and the need to present a complaint.

“In domestic violence in general and in dating violence in particular, there is a greater awareness of society about these phenomena for what is abusive behaviour and for [the victim] to assert their rights,” said the person responsible , Coordinator of the Medical-Legal and Forensic Office of the Middle Tagus.

The INMLCF found that, with regard to the profile of the victim, the majority (657) are female, with 14.3% of men, with an increase of 55% between 2014 and 2016, from 424 women in the first Year to 657 in the second.

It should be noted, however, that the number of male victims has increased exponentially, since in 2014 they were 60 and in 2016 110, representing an increase of 83.3%.

Still in relation to the profile of the victim, INMLCF data show that in 34.9% of the cases the person is between 18 and 25 years and in 22.8% between 31 and 39 years.

Regarding the aggressors, there has been an evolution in the last two years, since in 2015 they were mostly ex-boyfriends (52.9%), while in 2016 they were mostly boyfriends (51.8%).

The forms of aggression most frequently reported are varied and range from stab wounds 16, nail 56, hair pull 104, kicks 142, shoving 166, grips 176, or slaps 230, but also punches (258) or throttling (59).

Although the attempt to choke is not the most frequent, the person in charge of the study takes the opportunity to point out that often people do not really realize the consequences and tightening the neck can trigger reflexes that may ultimately cause a cardiac arrest.

“We call attention to the tightening of the neck because its importance is undervalued when it may have, in some situations, an unexpectedly fatal outcome,” warned César Santos.

The INMLCF also analyzes the months, days and hours in which there are more aggressions to conclude that they happen mainly in the months of July (88) and October (86), at the weekends (246), between 15:00 and 16:59 (99) and 9:00 p.m. and 22:59 p.m. (102)

These data will be presented publicly at the seminar “And if the school of dating formed professionals in violence”, which takes place in the auditorium of the rectory of the University of Coimbra, and marks the International Women’s Day.

According to César Santos, this seminar aims to make some contribution in raising awareness of these issues among the youngsters, especially secondary students, as well as university students, giving them the necessary tools to recognize abuse, perceive the consequences on physical and Psychic but also at the legal level.

“Dating is not supposed to be torture, but rather a relationship of respect between two parties,” he concluded, stressing that abusive behaviour can often have tragic endings and lead to the death of the victim.