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  • An activist from Rio de Paz organization protesting against gendered violence in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, in November 2016.

    An activist from Rio de Paz organization protesting against gendered violence in Copacabana, Rio de Janeiro, in November 2016. | Photo: EFE

Published 11 September 2019

Every two minutes, a woman files a complaint about domestic violence.

A report on crime and violence in Brazil issued Wednesday by the Public Security secretary found that four girls under 13 years old are raped every hour on average.

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These young girls represent more than half (54 percent) of the total victims of rape, with 54 percent of the 66,000 cases registered by authorities. Most of the rapes usually occur at home, and rapists are family members, neighbors, or acquaintances.

As for male victims, the average age is even lower with seven years old as the average marker.

"Brazil is still one of the most dangerous places in the world for women," a public prosecutor, Valeria Scarance, told Brazilian newspaper Globo's Jornal Nacional on Tuesday, adding that "the most dangerous place for a woman is her own home."

The number of femicides has also increased by four percent as compared with last year, with 1,200 women assassinated, usually by their partner, husband, or ex-partner. To stem femicide, Brazil passed a law in 2015 giving a legal definition of the crime, with tougher jail sentences of up to 30 years for convicted offenders.

Every two minutes, a woman files a complaint about domestic violence. Over 263,000 women suffered serious injuries at the hands of their partner, according to the study, which was based on governmental data.

Brazil, along with about 15 other countries in Latin America, has introduced laws against femicide in recent years, as the region has the world’s highest rates of this crime, according to the United Nations.

However, Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro renamed the existing Ministry of Human Rights to the Ministry of Women, Family and Human Rights, and lumped indigenous rights with women’s issues.

The new minister for the department, Damares Alves, is a pro-life evangelical pastor.

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