The Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV) has been providing support to victims of crime for the last 22 years. The Organisation has 15 victim support schemes across Portugal and 2 shelters for women and children victims of domestic violence. APAV’s strengths are, amongst others, its national coverage, the vast experience on victim support and the continuous concern for the improvement and adaptation of its services to the needs of victims.
APAV provides different types of support – practical, emotional, psychological, legal, information on victims’ rights and national criminal justice system, assistance to apply for compensation and shelter. Victim support services are available to victims, witnesses, their families, friends, partners, husband/wives, colleagues and everyone who might be directly or indirectly involved. In order to better address specific needs and support immigrant victims APAV formed the Support Unit for Immigrant Victims of Racial and Ethnic Discrimination.
Support is given through diverse means, namely: telephone, face-to-face, e-mail, letter and through social networks (services available in Portuguese and English when necessary, for other languages it may provided translation). Usually a victims contacts APAV through its hotline or e-mail, through police referral or going personally to a local scheme.