Portugal recorded 25% fewer violations against adult women in 2020 (315), compared to 2019 (421), and the break is explained by the “sexual assault” in the street that slowed down due to the pandemic, explains the PJ.
Portugal recorded a total of 2008 cases of rape against adult women in the last seven and a half years (until August 31, 2021), based on figures from the Annual Report on Internal Security 2020 (RASI 2020) and from the PJ, to which the Lusa had access.
The fall of 106 fewer cases of crime of rape from 2019 to 2020 may be related to the pandemic and confinement, because the crimes of rape happen at two levels, explained to Lusa, official source of the Judiciary Police (PJ).
A first level in which there is a prior relationship of knowledge between the victim and the aggressor, that is, a prior proximity that can be in a family, work, relational relationship, among others.
And a second level that happens in the so-called “sexual assault”, that is, a “victim and the aggressor do not know each other” and the crime can happen at a bus stop, in the subway, during a race in the woods.
“There is no doubt that in the pandemic, because we were confined much longer, all the crimes that have to do with such sexual assault and that have to do with life on the street decreased, because people walked a lot in the streets and continued to have police, “added source of the Judiciary.
In 2021, with the lack of confidence and the beginning of the return to normality of life before covid-19, it is “normal that the risks of rape increase in the so-called sexual assault”, warned the PJ.
In the last 20 months – between January 1, 2020 and August 31, 2021 – there have been a total of 469 cases of rape of adult women. In 2021, between January 1st and August 31st, 154 cases were registered.
During this period, the district of Lisbon appears in first place, with 146 cases of crimes of rape against adult women.
In second place is the district of Porto, with 58 cases of rape, and in third place is the district of Setúbal, with 55 cases.
In 4th and 5th places on the list of districts with the most violations appear Faro (33) and Braga (32), followed by the districts of Aveiro (23), Coimbra (18), Santarém (17), Leiria (14) , Viana do Castelo (12), Viseu (10).
Where there were fewer crimes of rape against adult women in the last 20 months was on the island of Pico, in the Azores, with one case reported to the PJ.
Faial Island had two cases of violations.
In the districts of Beja, Bragança and Portalegre there were three cases of rape in each of them.
The PJ warns that it is essential that the violations are “finalized” to the police entities in order to assess their “true dimension”.
For a police investigation, a PJ must state that the closer to the fact to make a complaint, “the better means and more resources there are to ask for objective data”.
“If the denunciation made close to the event, perhaps there are traces still susceptible of being collected. We would like the act of denunciation or signaling to be as close as possible to the crime”, he maintains.
The complaint, sometimes, can even be made where a preferred victim, whether at the hospital or the Institute of Forensic Medicine, where a victim was assisted.
“The more objective traces, the more biological marks of the aggressor can gather, the better. And these biological traces can be obtained more easily if it is no set of hours after the criminal event,” he adds.
The PJ advises as a victim of rape not to take a shower.
“If a person has already taken a shower, it is normal, because the person feels soiled and has pressure to get rid of this feeling of dirt, but for the interest of the investigation, a possibility of calling traces should be made without a person washing themselves , without the person changing the underwear, stay away from what he suffered”.
Data from the Judiciary Police, based on the Annual Internal Security Report 2020 (RASI 2020), indicate that in 2015 there were 375 cases of violations in Mainland Portugal and islands, in 2016 there were 335 cases of violations, in 2017 there were 408 cases, in 2018 there were 421 cases and in 2020 there were 315.