A total of 420 red and white panties were laid out in the sand of Copacabana beach on Monday in Rio de Janeiro's latest protest over violence against women following the alleged gang rape of a 16-year old girl.
The number 420 was chosen by the NGO Rio de Paz to represent the number of women raped every 72 hours in Brazil, reaching some 50,000 per year.
Large boards were also mounted in the sand, exhibiting photographs by Marcio Freitas of 20 women from the exhibition entitled "I will never be silenced."
Demonstrator Fatima Neves said she was fighting the normalization of violence against women.
Close up of the protest on Copacabana beach | Photo: Reuters
"If your child sees any kind of abuse at home—even if it is not physical violence, it could be psychological, moral—it normalizes the violence, so we have to try to break this circle," said Neves.
The protest was organised by Rio de Paz founder, Antonio Carlos Costa.
"There are almost 50,000 cases a year, within the context that these are under-reported. It is suspected that this 50,000 corresponds to 10 percent of the cases which actually take place. We are here protesting, calling on the authorities to combat impunity against this criminal practice and also to implement public policies in poor Brazilian communities, where the women are most vulnerable to the violation of their rights," said Costa.
A series of protests have spread throughout Brazilian cities in recent weeks after a 16-year-old girl was allegedly gang raped by 33 men, with images of the incident distributed across social media.