Club of Porto Invicta, Portugal
Since its foundation by the Soroptimist Teresa Rosmaninho, SI Club of Porto Invicta has focused on gender equality and violence against women and children, particularly in a domestic context. The members of the Club run a daily shelter called “Porto d’Abrigo” for women and their children, victims of domestic violence. When Leida, mother of two sons aged 6 and 16, arrived at the centre, she immediately thought: “Life here will be really better!».
The centre offers victims the opportunity to benefit from social, psychological and educational support. Indeed, the majority of women welcomed in the centre, have a low education’s level. Tools to face the future are also offered and they are helped to find transitional homes, so that they can lead an independent life, free from violence. Victims of domestic violence often have to leave their homes and lose everything. They must learn to live with new people, who are experiencing similar suffering and try to rebuild themselves by eventually finding a new job, a new school for their child, a new home, etc.
Thank to Catarina, daughter of the shelter’s founder, and the seven-member team, the centre has welcomed 148 women (average age 36 years old) and 179 children (average age 6 years old) since the opening of this structure. The average length of stay is 7.5 months.