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Brazilian Women Victims of Violence Urged to Denounce Their Assailants

Maria da Penha law “Do not report tomorrow the abuse you suffer today.” This is the motto adopted by a campaign launched in Brazil by the Women Service Police Department (DPAM) in Rio de Janeiro, in an attempt to encourage domestic violence victims to report their assailants.

The initiative marks the ten years in which DPAM has been in existence, and the eighth anniversary of a law called Maria da Penha, which punishes male aggressors more harshly.

DPAM Director Márcia Noeli announced that the state’s 13 police stations dedicated to women have registered 40 thousand cases per year.

According to her, women have been filing reports more often, not least because of the recent campaigns and stricter laws. Many of the victims, however, are still intimidated by prejudice and by the possibility of being even further abused in case they speak out.

A study entitled 2013 Woman Dossier, put out by the Rio de Janeiro Secretary for Public Security, shows that women were the main victims of violence in the city in 2012. They make up 65.3 percent of the victims of premeditated bodily injuries (58 thousand cases of physical aggression).

Of this total, 55 percent have been made victims at their homes or the homes of a relative. Also in 2012, approximately 5 thousand cases of rapes of women have been reported, 82.8 percent of the amount, and 22 percent of the cases are connected to family or domestic violence.

The Christ the Redeemer monument in Rio was given purple lighting as a tribute to the eighth anniversary of the Maria da Penha Law.



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