The SOS Pessoa Idosa Service is a service offered by the Bissaya Barreto Foundation and was created in 2014, in Coimbra. By offering this service, the Coimbra foundation intends to “provide support in a personalised way”, to be close to elderly “victims of violence”, they explained to The Portugal News. However, there is also the purpose of educating society, regarding a theme that accounts for an “emerging phenomenon.”

Registering complaints

Fundação Bissaya Barreto receives complaints in person, in the vicinity of the foundation, or at the victim’s home. Complaints can also be sent via email, or over the phone line, with no associated costs.

After registering the complaint, which can be made by the victim or by someone with knowledge of the abuse, the situation will be reported to the competent authorities, which will act in the victim's geographical area. Although the case is left to the authorities, the SOS Pessoa Idosa Service will always maintain contact with the victim to keep following up on the case.

According to statistical data from the Foundation, requests for help mostly come from women between 75 and 84 years old. More than half of the victims live in a situation of widowhood, as well as 53 percent of the victims live with family members or caregivers, being the situations in which situations of violence are most recurrent. The most common form of violence is negligence, which accounts for 32 percent of complaints, five percent last for more than a year. According to the complaints, most of the aggressors are members of the victim's family. About 40 percent of aggressors are men, namely children of victims.

Most complaints were made by people residing in the district of Lisbon, followed by Setúbal and Porto and Coimbra, occupying the third place, with 10 percent of complaints.

The contact lines to report a situation are:

Telephone line (no call costs): 800102100

Email address: sospessoaidosa@fbb.pt

The website where a form for complaints can be found: https://www.fbb.pt/sos