Journal of Immigrant and Minority Health

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 119–124 | Cite as

Interpersonal Violence Among Immigrants in Portugal

  • Sónia DiasEmail author
  • Sílvia Fraga
  • Henrique Barros
Original Paper


To assess prevalence of interpersonal violence among a mixed gender sample of immigrants in Portugal, describing the type of violence and associated factors. A cross-sectional study was conducted between October 2008 and May 2009, evaluating a sample of 702 immigrants residing in the Lisbon region. Information was obtained by trained interviewers using a structured questionnaire. Overall, 15.1 % (15.5 % females and 14.7 % males; p = 0.844) of the immigrants reported to be victims of at least one episode of violence during the last year, regardless of which type of violence was involved. The prevalence of intimate-partner violence was 4.1 %, and it was significantly higher among women than men (7.1 % vs. 0.9 %, respectively, p < 0.001). Women who reported being victims of violence during the previous year stated that the episodes occurred more often at home (54.4 %) with the partner as the perpetrator (43.9 %). On the other hand, male victims stated that the violent episodes occurred mostly in public spaces (40.8 %); men indicated that the perpetrator was frequently a stranger (28.6 %) or a co-worker (18.4 %). Violence is a frequent problem among both female and male immigrants living in Portugal, with different gender patterns regarding the perpetrators and settings of abuse.


Interpersonal violence Migrants Portugal 



This study has been financially supported by Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (IME/SAU-ESA/81760/2006). Sílvia Fraga has a PhD grant from Fundação para a Ciência e a Tecnologia (SFRH/BD/44408/2008). The authors are very grateful to the project team members António Carlos da Silva, Maria do Rosário Horta, Maria Helena Cargaleiro, Mário Carreira, Violeta Alarcão and Miguel Lemos.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2012

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Instituto de Higiene e Medicina Tropical & CMDT - Universidade Nova de LisboaLisboaPortugal
  2. 2.Institute of Public Health-University of Porto (ISPUP)PortoPortugal
  3. 3.Department of Clinical Epidemiology, Predictive Medicine and Public HealthUniversity of Porto Medical SchoolPortoPortugal

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