- Conteudo Principal

Project By Your Side

Project promoted by The National Commission for the Promotion of the Rights and the Protection of Children and Young People (CNPDPCJ)

Break the intergenerational cycle of violence

lettering a teu lado em tons de verde e limão com as palavras a teu lado

Children affected by domestic violence are often understood as “secondary” victims, either within the support and legal system or by entities that work with children and young people.

The numerous studies carried out are unequivocal regarding the damage caused to child victims and refer to the intergenerational transmission of violence, serious psychological, health, behavioural and socioeconomic impacts. In homicide situations, this impact is brutal and the lives of children and families change in an indelible way.

Early and qualified intervention is essential to break the cycle of domestic violence!

It is imperative to protect children and young people against all forms of violence, physical or mental, harm or abuse, neglect, violence against women and domestic violence, ill-treatment or exploitation, including sexual abuse.

The National Commission for the Promotion of the Rights and Protection of Children and Young People (CNPDPCJ), as a reference entity for the effective realization of the Human Rights of each and every child in Portugal, contributes to the planning of State intervention and to the coordination, monitoring and evaluation of the action of public bodies and the community, in promoting the rights and protection of children and young people.

In this context, By Your Side was born, a pilot project, promoted by CNPDPCJ, with funding from EEAGrants and with the participation of the Commission for Citizenship and Gender Equality as program operator, which as implemented and tested actions in the protection system in the territories of Amadora, Loures, Seixal, Faro and Loulé.

Its main objectives are:

• Support and respond to children, on the day(s) following the episode of domestic violence recorded by the police or another party, in conjunction with their family members, taking into account that the aggressor is normally part of this family unit.

• Develop preventive action against the normalization of gender-based violence and break cycles of victimization and aggression.

• Create specialized care for children who lose their parents or legal guardians as a result of homicide in the context of domestic violence.

• Develop a coordinated intervention between the national child and youth protection system and the national support network for victims of domestic violence, within the scope of their respective competencies.

The project’s national partners are:

GNR - National Republican Guard

PSP – Public Security Police

ISCTE-IUL – University Institute of Lisbon

DGE – General Directorate of Education

DGS - General Directorate of Health

ISS, IP – Social Security Institute

OPP – Order of Portuguese Psychologists

The Stine Sofies Foundation is the international partner.

The launching of the Project By Your Side took place on April 28th, 2022, at the Lisbon Urban Information Center (CIUL) and was attended by around 100 people.


The closing session took place on November 30th in the Auditorium 1 of the Judiciary Police and was attended by around 300 participants.


Training Sessions

The first training session on the By Your Side project took place in Loures, on June 27th, where there were, in total, 53 people from the GNR and PSP security forces, from the Commission for the Protection of Children and Young People (CPCJ) of Loures and the Municipal Schools that are a part of the project's intervention, as well as the Espaço Vida de Loures (Space Life Loures) team.


Two training sessions were held on the 6th and 7th of July 2022 for its implementation in the territories of Faro and Loulé. These actions were promoted by the project team: Amélia Carneiro from CNPDPCJ, António Castanho from the Ministry of Internal Administration (MAI) and representative on the CNPDPCJ National Council, Joana Alexandre and Sofia Oliveira, from ISCTE, the entity responsible for monitoring and evaluating the project. Approximately 80 professionals from the CPCJ, Schools and Security Forces were involved in both actions. These will be the main actors in the implementation of the project.


In parallel with these actions, the monitoring and monitoring of the implementation of By Your Side has continued through work sessions with the focal points identified by the partner entities involved in this implementation phase (CPCJ, Schools and Security Forces). These work sessions promote discussion and reflection on the difficulties encountered in implementing this intervention model and ways to enhance strengths and opportunities, in order to overcome obstacles, in a collaborative work logic. Since the beginning of 2023, we have had 65 professionals in these actions.


As part of the By Your Side project, the CNPDPCJ went to Iceland to promote benchmarking meetings/actions in order to share the project and to raise awareness of the Portuguese promotion and protection system.

The Portuguese team, composed of Maria João Fernandes, vice-president of the CNPDPCJ and Amélia Carneiro and Fátima Silva from the Technical Operational Team of the National Commission, learned about the model of intervention in violence against adult victims and its articulation with the Icelandic Child Protection Services.

portuguese team

The CNPDPCJ team also traveled to Liechtenstein to hold another benchmarking meeting with the Ombudswoman for Children and Young People in that country.

This working meeting aimed to learn about the country's model for promoting children's rights and publicize the Portuguese model, in order to share and survey practices for creating guidelines.

portuguese team with ombudswoman

A comparative study is being developed by partner ISCTE-IUL between professionals who work with the population victim of domestic and gender-based violence (GNR, PSP, CPCJ, Health and Education) and the general population.

To carry out the study, a multidisciplinary team was formed, comprising: Joana Alexandre and Sofia Anselmo de Oliveira from the Instituto Universitário de Lisboa, Fátima Conduta Silva and Amélia Carneiro from the National Commission for the Promotion of Rights and Protection of Children and Young People, António Castanho from the General Secretariat of the Ministry of Internal Administration, Alexandra Anciães of Lisboa + Igualdade: Assistance Center for Victims of Violence and Sofia Neves from the University of Maia. The aim was to build a data collection instrument a Belief Scale. The result of this work was presented on the 28th, 29th and 30th of September 2022, at the 5th congress of the Portuguese Psychologists Order.

Click on the image to access the poster with the preliminary results of the pre-analysis.

poster of the belief scale


Protecting those who Protect Burnout and Well-being in Professionals who work with Children and Young People in Violence Situations


Awareness videos about domestic violence (DV) against children:

Video 1

Video 2

The videos were created within the scope of the By Your Side Project, with the aim of being used as a resource to raise awareness about the issue of Domestic Violence (DV) against children and to contribute to breaking the intergenerational cycle of DV.

They can, therefore, be viewed in a group and by any group of children, as they were designed for them.

Who are the videos aimed at?

• Video 1 is aimed at children between ages of 6 to 9 years old

• Video 2 is aimed at children mainly between ages of 10 to 12 years old, but can also be used for children between 13 and 15 years old.

Who should show the videos and in what context?

We suggest that the videos be used as a resource within the scope of Child Abuse Prevention Month (marked in April), in schools or other contexts involving children and in which it makes sense to use these videos.

What can be done after watching the videos?

We suggest that, after viewing the video, a debate can be created with the students, adjusting to their age and maturity, framing, for example, the issue of DV within the Convention on the Rights of the Child (UN, 1989), addressing some of the rights (e.g. the Right to be protected - Article 32).

What if a situation is disclosed?

The adult should praise the child for being able to talk about a situation that they may be experiencing or that they know is being experienced by a family member/friend/neighbour (“you were very brave by telling me that”; “thank you for trusting me to tell me about this situation that, as you say, you wanted to tell me about a long time ago”) and you must do so in a context of greater privacy (calm space, without other children); the adult must then contact the focal point of their school (identified within the scope of the By Your Side Project) or entities certified with the Protective Seal, thus activating the action flowchart defined in the projects.

What you should NOT do?

• Don’t place blame – “Why didn’t you tell me sooner?”

• Don’t attempt to investigate the case – “I’ll try to talk to your mother to see if it’s true”; “Is it the mother, or the youngster, the victim? Isn’t the father a victim too?”; “Is the youngster just being manipulative?”

• Do not touch the victim child – (e.g., to hug, or to hold), unless he or she is seeking that type of contact;

• Don't make false promises – e.g., “Everything will be fine! Don’t worry about this situation anymore!”; “your father will be arrested now and you and your family will be safe!”

• Do not make decisions for the child, but rather support and assist them;

• Do not give personal advice.


News in the media about the project: