Brazil Gets Serious About Violence Against Women

Brazil’s federal government will spend US$ 2.04 million (5 million reais) on its Program to Combat Domestic Violence this year.

The program’s two objectives are to reduce physical and psychological aggression in the home that mainly victimize women and make the public aware of the problem.


The announcement of the program funding was made by the special secretary for Women Policies, minister Nilcéia Freire, who pointed out that this is the first time in Brazil that the problem of violence against women is being dealt with in an integrated manner by all levels of government and the private sector.


She explained that the federal government, local authorities, NGOs and the private sector will work together to reduce domestic violence and rescue the self-esteem of victims.


“We are setting up a network of centers for victim assistance, safe houses and legal aid,” she said.


The announcement of the program funding was made this week in the state of Pernambuco by minister Nilcéia Freire, as part of the launch of a broader program to assist the female population: the Viva Women (Viva Mulher) program.


Among other things, that program will spend US$ 16.3 million (40 million reais) to reequip police stations throughout the country so that they can handle cases of violence against women.


According to the government statistical bureau (IBGE), the state of Pernambuco has the highest level of violence against women in the country. A total of 669 women were assassinated in Pernambuco during the period 2002-2003.


The state Women Assistance Service, which operates at a hospital in Recife (the state capital), reports an average of 30 cases per month of physical aggression against women.


The cases range from actual bodily injuries, undesired pregnancies and venereal diseases to severe psychological damage.


Abr – www.radiobras.gov.br

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