Paulina Quintao – Women's Parliamentary Group president Josefa Alvares Pereira Soares says rural women are unfamiliar with laws prohibiting domestic violence.
She said awareness raising efforts by the State Secretariat for the Promotion of Equality (SEPI) were insufficient.
"We have visited every rural area and identified that a large number of people don't know about these laws, therefore domestic violence is often unreported," she said. Community leaders also seemed to be ignorant of the laws, she said.
Awareness of SEPI vocal points was also poor. Secretary of State for the Promotion of Equality Idelta Maria Rodrigues said NGOs, funded by SEPI, would raise awareness of the laws.
"We have provided financial support for 23 groups to raise awareness about the laws against domestic violence for rural residents and village chiefs," she said.