Many men say they believe they have a right to beat up their wives or companions when they do not do domestic tasks as they should be done, reports Dario Córdoba, a psychologist at an NGO, the Promundo Institute.
Córdoba conducted a survey of 749 men between the ages of 15 and 60 and found that over 51% of the men interviewed used some form of violence – physical, psychological or sexual – against their wives or companions.
Over 25% said they used physical violence. The men resided in two low-income and one middle-income neighborhoods in Rio de Janeiro.
Córdoba says the use of violence is linked to socio-cultural standards. “Men follow a pattern where sex is more important than affection. And violence rather than dialogue is seen as a legitimate way to resolve conflicts, such as whether or not to use a condom,” he says.
Based on the results of the survey, the Promundo Institute is promoting activities in Rio neighborhoods where violence is part of daily life.
Men are being shown that there are other ways to deal with problems in their relationships with the people they live with.
Córdoba says results have already begun to appear. “The big challenge is to rethink the concept of masculinity. Not just from a legal point of view, but in terms of behavior,” he concludes.
Translator: Allen Bennett