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victim support services in Portugal

In Portugal, the Portuguese Association for Victim Support is the sole provider of support services to all victims of crime. There are several other NGO’s which offer specialist support to specific groups of victims, namely: victims of gender based violence and domestic violence (Feminismos em Movimento); women who are victims of sexual violence (AMCV – Associação de Mulheres Contra a Violência and UMAR – União de Mulheres Alternativa e Resposta); men and boys who are victims of sexual violence (Quebrar o Silêncio); LGBTQIA+ victims (ILGA Portugal and Associação Plano I).

Crime and violence may harmfully impact all areas of victims’ lives, be it physically, psychologically, or financially, or even at the family, social or work level. Individual’s may be overwhelmed by their experience as a victim of crime.

If, unfortunately, you have been a victim of crime, please know that victims’ services can offer you, your family and your friends support. APAV is Portugal’s largest not-for-profit, charitable organisation providing confidential, qualified and free of charge assistance to victims of all crimes. With national coverage (click here for our locations), APAV provides information on the rights of victims of crime and the criminal justice system, counselling and emotional, legal, psychological and social support.

APAV has 75 community-based – generic and specialist – services nationwide working with victims of crime, including those considered particularly vulnerable: victims of terrorism, organised crime, human trafficking, gender-based violence, violence in a close relationship, sexual violence, exploitation or hate crime, and victims with disabilities.




Official Language


Emergency Number

Victim support helpline & support at a distance

APAV’s Victim Support Helpline - 116 006

Our support services are also available at a distance by phone, social media messaging or video conferencing through Skype (including by sign language). APAV’s Victim Support Helpline – 116 006 – is free of charge, strictly confidential and available on workdays from 08:00 – 22:00. If you were a victim of crime and feel more comfortable reaching out to APAV remotely, don’t hesitate to call us or send us a message via Facebook® Messenger® or Instagram®.

Safer Internet Centre

If you feel that you, a friend, a family member or a son/daughter may be at risk, APAV’s Safer Internet Helpline – 800 219 090 – can give you advice on how to better protect yourself in the digital world.

You may have come across online content, which seems to indicate child sexual abuse, hate speech, xenophobia or incitement to violence; if so, simply copy the associated URL and report it to the Safer Internet Centre.

Rights of victims of crime in portugal

Victims of crime have a set of rights which they can exercise in order to meet their needs and defend their interests and expectations. Victims have, amongst others, the right to information, protection and compensation. These rights are set out not only in Portuguese national laws but also in international legal instruments, such as the European Union Directive which establishes the minimum standards on the rights, support, and protection of victims of crime.

Learn more about your rights at:

Useful resources for victims of crime in portugal

Public Prosecution Service

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Criminal Investigation Force

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Public Safety Police

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National Republican Guard

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National Institute of Legal Medicine and Forensic Sciences

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The Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality

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The National Commission for the Promotion of the Rights and Protection of Children and Young People

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Receiving support is
your right!

The content of this fact sheet represents the views of the author only and is his/her sole responsibility. The European Commission does not accept any responsibility for use that may be made of the information it contains.
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