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  • Demonstrators attend a protest against rape and violence against women in Rio de Janeiro.

    Demonstrators attend a protest against rape and violence against women in Rio de Janeiro. | Photo: Reuters

Published 11 August 2018

Brazil had a backlog of 10,786 femicides in 2017, according to the National Council of Justice.

The 12th Brazilian Forum of Public Security published a report revealing that Brazil registered 221,238 cases of domestic violence in 2017. The number represents 606 cases per day of intentional physical abuse.

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The report also indicated significant delays in the processing of femicides in the justice system, which at the end of 2017, had a backlog of 10,786 cases. According to the National Council of Justice, or CNJ.

The CNJ included 1,448,716 cases to rule on related to domestic violence in 2017, the equivalent, on average, of 13.8 cases for every 1,000 females.

In accordance with the Maria da Penha Law, domestic violence occurs when a family member, partner or whoever shares a residence with a female, abuses that female within the confines.

The law, which was sanctioned in 2006, also gave a legal definition to the crime of femicide—the killing of a woman by a man because of her gender—created specialized jurisdictions and a support network to protect women from gender violence and attempted to reduce violence against women by increasing sentences for the perpetrators of such crimes.

The law was named in honor of Maria da Penha, a pharmacist who was left paraplegic after her ex-husband, Marco Viveres, attempted to kill her on two separate occasions. In 1983, he shot her in the back while she slept. He told authorities that criminals, having invaded their home, were responsible for the shooting and was not prosecuted.

On another occasion, he attempted to electrocute his paraplegic wife while she took a bath. It was only after this second attempt that Viveres was investigated and it was ruled that he was responsible for trying to shoot and electrocute da Penha.

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