Support Services

Here you will find information about the types of support that can be provided to you by various entities and services.

Victim Support Institute

Victim support institute (Instituto Pró Vitima)

The Brazilian Institute of Attention and Support to Victims – Pró Vítima – is a national, non-profit organisation dedicated to social solidarity. Pró Vítima works tirelessly in Brazil to ensure that the status of crime victims is approved, fully recognised, valued, and respected. Pró Vítima's mission is to support victims of crime, public calamities, and natural disasters, along with their families and friends, by offering quality, free, and confidential services. Additionally, the organisation contributes to the improvement of public, social, and private policies that are centred around the status of the victim.



Pró Vítima supports individuals who have been victims of traumatic events and violence, as well as their families and friends. Assistance is offered to victims of all types of crimes: domestic violence, abuse, threats, homicide, sexual crimes, extortion through kidnapping, theft, robbery, fraud, extortion, breach of trust, document forgery, damage, cybercrimes, and racial discrimination, among many other crimes.

If you are a child or teenager, please have your legal representative contact us so you can benefit from our services.

A person who has been a victim of a crime can find the emotional and practical support they need at Pró Vítima to cope with and overcome the consequences of being victimised. This support is provided by our technical volunteers, who are trained to assist victims.

To learn how to contact us, please click here.



The overall and sustained pursuit of Pró Vítima’s mission requires various activities and projects developed throughout the country. Among these, we highlight:

  • Training for professionals and institutions;
  • Selection, training, and supervision of volunteers;
  • Research & development to expand knowledge about crime victims and apply it to new and improved responses;
  • Providing information about the rights of victims and raising awareness in society;
  • Prevention of violence and criminality;
  • Collaboration with competent authorities in the field of support and protection to victims, training, and partnerships in national and international projects;
  • Utilising information and communication technologies to support victims;
  • Fundraising.



Crime and violence prevention is an ongoing activity at Pró Vítima in its mission to support victims, especially children and youths. Pró Vítima conducts awareness-raising actions in schools and communities on how to prevent crimes and violence and how to increase personal and community safety, thereby reducing opportunities for crimes to occur, as well as addressing how to deal with crime when it does happen.

To learn more, please click here.

Health Services

If, due to a crime or traumatic event experienced, you need to seek medical treatment, do not hesitate to do so immediately. Inform the healthcare professional attending to you that the injuries resulted from a crime, and remember that the medical report is crucial, both for the criminal proceeding and for any eventual claims for compensation or insurance activation.

The Brazilian health system is characterised by three coexisting systems:

  • Unified Health System (SUS), which offers universal coverage.
  • Special health social insurance regimes for specific professions (health subsystems).
  • Private health insurance.


Healthcare units can be divided into three types:

  • Hospitals: Located in major Brazilian cities with larger populations, they provide higher-degree healthcare services, like surgeries and various speciality consultations. Hospitals are complex institutions with specific technological density, multi-professional and interdisciplinary in nature, responsible for assisting users with acute or chronic conditions that pose potential instability and complications to their health status.
  • Basic Health Units (UBS) and Family Strategy (Health Posts): They offer basic and free services, such as medical consultations, nursing consultations, dressings, vaccinations, dental treatments, prevention of cervical and breast cancer, referrals to specialities, provision of basic medication for hypertension and diabetes treatment, collection of laboratory tests, among others. The UBS is the user's entry point into the SUS and is managed by the municipalities. Citizens should look for the nearest unit with identification and proof of residence. Upon the first visit, the user will receive an SUS card and be assigned to a Family Health Strategy (ESF) team that will regularly monitor their health.
  • Emergency Care Units (UPA): The UPA is responsible for urgent and emergency care, operating 24 hours a day, seven days a week. It handles cases like cuts, fractures, traumas, heart attacks, and strokes. UPAs are intermediate complexity structures between the UBS and hospital emergency doors, helping to reduce queues in hospital emergency rooms. UPAs have a simplified structure with services like X-rays, electrocardiography, paediatrics, a lab for tests, and observation beds.


Health services are classified into primary, secondary, and tertiary care:

  • Primary Care: Comprises the Basic Health Units (UBS), Community Health Agents (ACS), Family Health Team (ESF), and the Support Center for Family Health (NASF). The intermediate level of care is provided by SAMU 192 (Mobile Emergency Care Service), the UPAs, and hospitals that offer medium and high-complexity care.
  • Secondary Care: Consists of specialised outpatient and hospital services with technological density intermediate between primary and tertiary care. This level includes specialised medical services, diagnostic and therapeutic support, and emergency and urgent care.
  • Tertiary Care or High Complexity: Refers to highly specialised therapies and procedures. It also includes high-technology and/or high-cost procedures in areas like oncology, cardiology, ophthalmology, transplants, high-risk childbirth, orthopaedics, neurosurgery, dialysis, otology, and others.


It also covers reconstructive surgery (for mutilations, traumas, or severe burns), bariatric surgery (for morbid obesity cases), reproductive surgery, assisted reproduction, clinical genetics, nutritional therapy, progressive muscular dystrophy, osteogenesis imperfecta (also known as Brittle Bone Disease, a genetic disease that causes fragility of the bones), and cystic fibrosis (a genetic disease that affects several organs of the body causing progressive deficiencies).

Among the high-complexity outpatient procedures are chemotherapy, radiotherapy, hemotherapy, magnetic resonance imaging, nuclear medicine, and the provision of exceptional medications, such as bone prostheses, pacemakers, cardiac stents, etc.

For more information about health services, please click here.


Medical Emergency

Brazil has a medical emergency number: 192 (SAMU). The call is free, and the service operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Clinical cases such as heart and respiratory problems, labour, hypertensive crises, stroke, seizure crises, and transfer of critically ill patients are attended to by SAMU (Mobile Emergency Care Service), which should be activated by dialling the emergency number 192.

The Mobile Emergency Care Service (SAMU 192) aims to reach victims early after an urgent or emergency situation has occurred that could lead to suffering, sequelae, or even death. Urgencies include situations of clinical, surgical, traumatic, obstetric, paediatric, and psychiatric nature, among others.

SAMU 192 provides assistance anywhere and has teams consisting of doctors, nurses, nursing assistants, and rescuer drivers. The Ministry of Health recommends its use in the following cases:

  • Occurrence of cardio-respiratory problems;
  • Exogenous intoxication and poisoning;
  • Severe burns;
  • Occurrence of maltreatment;
  • Labour where there''s a risk of death to the mother or foetus;
  • Suicide attempts;
  • Hypertensive crises and sudden chest pains;
  • Accidents/traumas with victims;
  • Drownings;
  • Electric shocks;
  • Accidents with dangerous products;
  • Suspected heart attack or stroke (sudden speech alteration, loss of strength on one side of the body, and deviation of the lip corner are the most common symptoms);
  • Assault with firearms or bladed weapons;
  • Falling or Collapsing;
  • Seizure crises;
  • Inter-hospital transfer of critically ill patients;


Other situations are considered urgent or emergency, with risk of death, sequelae, or intense suffering.

Dial Health 136

Users have a permanent health line at their disposal: Dial Health 136. This phone line is designed to provide information on various diseases and guidance on leading a healthier life. The phone line also receives complaints, reports, and suggestions about the service provided by SUS.

Users can seek guidance on how to quit smoking, get referrals for treatment, and information on smoking and tobacco control legislation.

Dial Health 136 operates 24 hours, from Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m., and on Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 6 p.m., citizens can speak directly with a call attendant. Outside these hours, information is provided by the Automated Response Unit (URA), with recorded messages.


These welcoming spaces offer psychological and social support for women in situations of violence. These places also provide legal guidance and referrals to medical services or Shelter Houses.


Shelter Houses offer protected asylum and comprehensive care (psychosocial and legal) to women in situations of domestic violence who are at risk of death, with or without their children. Women can stay in these places for 90 to 180 days. During this period, they should gather the necessary conditions to resume life outside these temporary shelters.

Social Assistance Services

Social Assistance is part of the National Secretariat of Social Assistance (SNAS) of the Ministry of Citizenship of the Brazilian Government. It is a state-established body aiming to secure citizens' basic rights and equality of opportunities, as well as promote well-being and social cohesion for all citizens, families, and communities dealing with difficulties through benefits, programs, and projects.

The Unified Social Assistance System (SUAS) organises social assistance actions into two types of social protection. The first is Basic Social Protection, intended to prevent social and personal risks through offering programs, projects, services, and benefits to individuals and families in situations of social vulnerability. The second is Special Social Protection for families and individuals who are already at risk and have had their rights violated due to abandonment, mistreatment, sexual abuse, and drug use, among others.

In SUAS, there are also Assistance Benefits provided to specific audiences integrated with services, helping to overcome vulnerability situations. SUAS also manages the linkage of social assistance entities and organisations to the System, keeping the National Register of Social Assistance Entities and Organisations (CNEAS) updated and granting certification to charitable entities.

The social assistance policy offers a set of services to ensure citizens are not left helpless when unexpected situations occur in which their ability to access social rights is compromised.

These situations may be related to a person’s age, when a family member requires special care, gets involved with drugs or alcohol, loses their job, engages in violent situations, family members grow distant, or when a natural disaster occurs in the community.

Social assistance provides services to strengthen families and develop their autonomy, supporting them to overcome eventual difficulties and access social rights, preventing the rupture of bonds.

Furthermore, it works in partnership with other public policies and refers citizens to other agencies when the situations encountered cannot be resolved solely through social assistance, like in cases involving unemployment, violence, diseases, access to education, basic sanitation, and housing, among others.

Social Assistance comprises the following programs:

a) The Service of Protection in Public Calamities and Emergencies is a special protection of SUAS designed to address these situations, recognised by the Ministry of Regional Development. The service is provided for in Resolution CNAS no. 109 of November 11, 2009, which approves the National Typification of Socio-Assistance Services and is regulated by Ordinance MDS no. 90 of September 3, 2013. Its objective is to ensure provisions of the physical environment, material resources, human resources, and social work. All these provisions must be employed in maintaining temporary shelters as a strategy for responding to these events.

The objectives of the Service of Protection in Situations of Public Calamity and Emergency are:

I – to ensure immediate accommodation in dignified and safe conditions, observing the specificities of ethnic groups, life cycles, and disabilities, among other specific situations;

II – to maintain provisional lodgings when necessary;

III – to identify losses and damages that occurred and register the affected population;

IV – to articulate the network of public policies and social support networks to provide for the identified needs and

V – to promote insertion into the socio-assistance network and access, where appropriate, to eventual benefits.

The Service of Protection in Situations of Public Calamities and Emergencies should be offered intersectional and articulated with civil defence and protection agencies and with other public policies, rights defence bodies, organised civil society, cooperation agencies, civil defence councils, and community civil defence nuclei, where available, among others, as needed, at all levels of the Federation, to minimise the damages caused and provide for the verified needs.

All states, the Federal District, and municipalities are eligible. The acceptance of the service can be done either before or after the occurrence of a disaster. It is important to note that even if approval is done in advance, the transfer of resources only occurs after meeting the requirements listed in Ordinance MDS no. 90/2013. The political entity must fill out the attached form.

To access the guide of questions and answers the Government provides, click here.

b) The Elderly Card  it’s a form of income proof to use free interstate transportation (two seats per vehicle) or to get a 50% discount on the ticket price. To have this right, the person must prove that they are 60 or older and have an income equal to or below two minimum wages. This right is provided for in Article 40 of the Statute of the Elderly (Law no. 10,741, of October 1, 2003).

c) The Service of Protection and Comprehensive Family Care (PAIF) is offered in all Social Assistance Reference Centers (CRAS) to support families, prevent the rupture of bonds, promote access to rights, and improve life quality. Families in situations of social vulnerability can participate in PAIF. The service supports community actions through lectures, campaigns, and events, helping the community develop solutions for dealing with common problems such as lack of accessibility, neighbourhood violence, child labour, lack of transportation, low service quality, and absence of leisure and cultural spaces, among others. To participate in PAIF, one must look for the nearest Social Assistance Reference Center (CRAS). The service can also be offered through itinerant CRAS units or by mobile teams in territories with low demographic density and population dispersion (rural areas, indigenous communities, quilombo communities, river channels, and settlements, among others).

d) The Living and Strengthening of Bonds (SCFV) is a service of SUAS's Basic Social Protection, offered as a complement to the social work with families performed through the Service of Protection and Comprehensive Family Care (PAIF) and the Service of Protection and Specialised Care to Families and Individuals (PAEFI). SCFV conducts group attendances, offering artistic, cultural, recreational, and sports activities, among others, tailored to the users' ages. It's a planned social intervention that presents challenging situations and stimulates and guides users in building and reconstructing their individual, collective, and family histories and experiences. The service can be offered at the Social Assistance Reference Center (CRAS) or Living Centers. It is open to children, adults, and the elderly; people with disabilities; victims of violence; victims of child labour; out-of-school youth and children; youth-serving socio-educational measures; elderly people without family or community support or without access to social services; as well as other individuals registered in the Single Registry. SCFV users are organised into groups based on age ranges or intergenerational groups.

e) Social Approach. The Social Approach Service is conducted by a team of social educators who identify families and individuals in situations of personal and social risk in public spaces, like child labour, sexual exploitation of children and adolescents, homelessness, and abusive use of crack and other drugs. The approach is carried out in streets, squares, roads, borders, public spaces with labour activities (like fairs and markets), places with a high circulation of people and commercial activity, bus terminals, trains, subways, abandoned buildings, dumps, beaches, traffic lights, among others. The service must address the immediate needs of the attended people, incorporating them into the socio-assistant services network and other public policies, aiming to guarantee their rights. The Specialised Social Approach Service develops planned actions to approach, listen, and build trust with people and families in situations of personal and social risk in public spaces. It aims to assist, accompany, and mediate access to the social protection network. The service can be offered at the Specialised Reference Center of Social Assistance - CREAS, or at the Specialised Center for Homeless Population (Centro Pop).

f) The BPC in School Program aims to guarantee access and permanence in school for children and adolescents up to 18 years old with disabilities who receive the Continuous Cash Benefit (BPC). This is done through intermediary actions involving the Union, states, municipalities, and the Federal District, with participation from the ministries of Citizenship, Education, Health, and Women, Family, and Human Rights. The program identifies barriers that prevent or hinder access and permanence in school for children and adolescents with disabilities and develops intermediary actions. These actions involve social assistance, education, health, and human rights policies. Questionnaires are applied to beneficiaries during home visits to identify these barriers, followed by monitoring of beneficiaries and their families by technicians from the Social Assistance Reference Centers (CRAS) and intermediary actions developed by the local managing groups of the Program.

g) Child Labor Eradication Program – PETI. In 2011, PETI was established by the Organic Law of Social Assistance (LOAS) as an intermediary program, part of the National Policy of Social Assistance. It encompasses income transfers, social work with families, and the offering of socio-educational services to children and adolescents who are in child labour situations.

According to the National Plan for the Prevention and Eradication of Child Labour and Protection to Adolescent Workers, child labour is defined as various economic or survival activities performed by children or adolescents under 16 years old (except as apprentices, starting from 14 years old), whether paid or unpaid, with or without profit purposes.

There are also the worst forms of child labour, considered harmful to the health, safety, or morals of adolescents, which can only be performed by individuals over 18 years old, such as Domestic Work. This is outlined in the List of the Worst Forms of Child Labor (TIP List), according to the Annex of Decree no. 6,481, of June 12, 2008.

h) Homeless Population. The service to the Homeless Population is aimed at individuals who use the streets as a space for living and/or survival. It aims to provide specialised attendance and accompaniment, with activities directed at strengthening social and/or familial bonds, collective organisation, mobilisation, and social participation, as well as constructing new life projects. It offers individual and group guidance, in addition to referrals to other socio-assistant services and other public policies that can contribute to building autonomy, social insertion, and protection against violence. 

The service should promote access to civil documentation, spaces for belongings storage, personal hygiene, and food. The service must be offered at the Specialised Center for the Homeless Population – Centro Pop. Young people, adults, the elderly, and families who use the streets for living and/or survival can use the service. Children and adolescents living on the streets can only be attended when accompanied by a family member or guardian.

i) Special Protection for People with Disabilities and the Elderly: This service is for individuals with disabilities or elderly people with some degree of dependence and their families, who have had their limitations exacerbated by rights violations, such as isolation, confinement, discriminatory and prejudiced attitudes, or lack of proper care from caregivers, among other situations. These circumstances increase dependence and compromise the development of autonomy. The service promotes activities that ensure autonomy, social inclusion, and improved quality of life for service users. In this context, it aims to reduce social exclusion for both the dependent individual and the caregiver, alleviate the burden resulting from the dependence/long-term care situation, and overcome rights violations that weaken individuals and intensify the dependence level of people with disabilities or the elderly. The service can be offered at the Day Center, at the Specialised Social Assistance Reference Center (CREAS), in units referred to CREAS, and/or at the user's home.

j) BPC Work. The BPC Work Program aims to promote the protagonism and social participation of disability beneficiaries of the Continuous Cash Benefit (BPC) through overcoming barriers, strengthening autonomy, accessing the socio-assistance network, professional qualification, and the world of work. In 2011, the Organic Law of Social Assistance (LOAS), which regulates the granting of the Continuous Cash Benefit, was amended to allow beneficiaries to return to the program after experiencing participation in the labour market. Disability beneficiaries of the BPC are now entitled to special suspension of the benefit to engage in paid activity, including as individual micro-entrepreneurs, without cancellation of the benefit. The legislation ensures that a disabled BPC beneficiary can be hired as a professional apprentice without losing the benefit. The apprentice may even accumulate the BPC with the salary paid by the employer for up to two continuous or intermittent years. After this period, a special suspension of the benefit may be requested.

k) The Mobile Team is part of the Social Assistance Reference Center (CRAS) team, aiming to provide social assistance services to families residing in hard-to-reach areas (rural areas, indigenous communities, quilombo communities, river basins, and settlements, among others). This team is responsible for actively searching for these families, developing the Protection and Comprehensive Family Service (PAIF), and other Basic Social Protection services that can be adapted to specific local conditions as long as their objectives are respected. Moreover, they support the inclusion or updating of families in the Single Registry and make necessary referrals for income access, social assistance services, and other policies. This team's displacement is done by cars or Social Assistance Boats.

l) Homeless Population in the Single Registry. The Single Registry identifies low-income Brazilian individuals and families, understanding who they are and how they live. Families that earn up to half a minimum wage per person or up to three total minimum wages per month can be registered. Families with income above this value seeking to participate in a social program using the Single Registry can also register. For the homeless population, the Single Registry is crucial as it helps the government develop public policies specifically designed to meet their needs while granting access to various social programs. To register, you should go to one of the following places: Centro Pop – Specialised Reference Center for the Homeless Population; CREAS – Specialised Reference Center of Social Assistance; or CRAS – Social Assistance Reference Center.

m) Socio-educational Measures. Adolescents who commit offences are judicially mandated to comply with socio-educational measures, contributing pedagogically to access rights and changing personal and social values. The Specialised Reference Center of Social Assistance (CREAS) provides social protection services to adolescents serving Assisted Freedom (LA) and Community Service (PSC) socio-educational measures. The purpose is to provide socio-assistance attention and accompaniment to adolescents and youths referred by the Childhood and Youth Court, or in its absence, the corresponding Civil Court or Single Judge. CREAS is also responsible for monitoring the adolescent, contributing to holding them accountable for the infraction committed. The Open Socio-Educational Measures Service interacts with the National Socio-Educational Attendance System (Sinase) and thus should be part of the Municipal Socio-Educational Attendance Plan. This Plan aims to organise the socio-educational attendance network and improve and monitor those responsible for attending adolescents in conflict with the law.

n) The Program for Promoting Access to the World of Work (Acessuas Trabalho) seeks the autonomy of families who use social assistance policy through integration into the world of work. This initiative is part of a set of public policy articulation actions and mobilisation, referral, and monitoring of people in vulnerability and/or social risk for access to work and employment opportunities. Productive inclusion actions include technical-professional qualification, public labour mediation, support to individual micro-entrepreneurs and the solidarity economy, access to work-related social rights (formalisation of work), and articulation with local traders and entrepreneurs to map and promote opportunities, among others.

o) Shelter Services. These specialised services offer shelter and protection to people and families temporarily separated from their original family and/or community nucleus and are in situations of abandonment, threat, or rights violation. These services function as temporary housing until individuals can return to their families of origin, be forwarded to substitute families, if applicable, or achieve autonomy (own or rented housing). For more information, click here.



Social Benefits and Incentives

The Organic Law of Social Assistance establishes rules for allocating social benefits. Below are some examples of social provisions that can be awarded:

  • Continuous Cash Benefit – it guarantees a monthly minimum wage to people with disabilities and to the elderly aged 65 (sixty-five) or older who can prove they do not have the means to provide for their own upkeep, nor does their family. For the purpose of granting the Continuous Cash Benefit, a family is understood to consist of the applicant, the spouse or partner, parents and, in the absence of one of them, the stepmother or stepfather, single siblings, single children and stepchildren, and minors under custody, provided they live under the same roof. For the concession of the Continuous Cash Benefit, a person with a disability is considered to be someone who has a long-term physical, mental, intellectual, or sensory impairment, which, in interaction with one or more barriers, can hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with other people.


There are also some programs, social supports, and integrated responses to assist specific audiences:

  • Occasional Benefits – Occasional benefits are understood as supplementary and provisional provisions that are organically integrated into the SUAS guarantees and are provided to citizens and families due to birth, death, temporary vulnerability situations, and public calamities. The CNAS, after consulting with their respective State and Municipality representatives, may propose, according to the budget availabilities of the three government spheres, the institution of subsidiary benefits of up to 25% (twenty-five per cent) of the minimum wage for each child up to 6 (six) years old.
  • Poverty Combating Projects encompass establishing a social-economic investment in popular groups, aiming to financially and technically subsidise initiatives that guarantee them means, productive capacity, and management skills to improve general living conditions, raise the quality of life standard, preserve the environment, and organise socially. The incentive for poverty-combating projects will be based on articulation mechanisms and participation from different governmental areas and a cooperation system among governmental and non-governmental agencies and civil society.

Contacts and Customer Service

The Customer Service Center phone number of the Ministry of Citizenship, 121, accepts calls from mobile phones all over Brazil. The channel provides information about services in various areas of expertise, such as sports, culture, and social development, and also ensures public participation in the Ministry’s public policies.

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