People who are victims of crime often do not know or are ensure of what they should do about it. They need someone who in a friendly and supportive way can listen, understand and help them.
A victim of crime also needs support to handle the consequences of their ordeal. Their physical and psychological reactions to the crime and its afermath can be, complex. They may have doubts about the best way to proceed with their case, about their relationship with judicial and police authorities, and so on. they may also require advice on insurance claims and compensation.
They may be particularly vulnerable if they have become a victim of crime in a foreign country. They lack the necessary knowledge of who to contact and what to do. And there may be language barriers or difficulties arising from the fact they may be staying in the country for only a short period of time.
RIGHTS AND PROCEDURE
A victim of crime is entiled to provide information and evidence to the case. This is in addition to the legal requirement that the victim is kept informed about his/her rights and role in the case, about the support he/she can access, and about how to get compensation. The victim has the right to compensation for damages caused by the offender(s), wether these losses be physical losses such as damage to property or other losses such as physical and emotional suffering. Victims of violent crime and domestic violence have the right to compensation from the State as long as they follow the appropriate steps.
If you are or were a victim of crime, you must file a complaint to the Public Prosecution services, the courts or any PJ (Polícia Judiciária – Judiciary Police) office, PSP (Polícia de Segurança Pública - Public Security Police) station or GNR (Guarda Nacional Republicana - National Republican Guard) post, regardless of where the crime was committed.
For some crimes complaints must be filed within six months of the crime taking place. So it is important that victims file the complaint within this time in order to prosecute the offender(s). A copy of the case record should be requested when the complaint is filed.
Particularly when the victim does not reside in Portugal, it is necessary to supply the police authorities or the Public Prosecution with all available information about the crime its consequences, and the extent of damage, before leaving the contry is not possible to do this at the victim's own country of residence.
Victims can (or in less serious cases, are required to) become Assistants in the case, which enables them to participate actively in its development: to ask for evidence, to ask for a decision to be reviewed, etc.
Becoming an assistant of the case implies the payment of a justice fee of 96€. If not, victims will participate as witnesses.