Domestic violence assistance in Rio Grande

During the pandemic, violence against women increased in the country. According to the survey of the Datasheet commissioned by the Brazilian Public Security Forum, one in four women over the age of 16 claims to have suffered some type of violence in the last year in Brazil. In other words, about 17 million women (24.4%) suffered physical, psychological or sexual violence in the last year.

This increase is also verified in the attendance numbers of the Public Defender’s Office of Rio Grande do Sul. Data from the entity’s annual report show that from October 2020 to September this year, the number of petitions involving domestic violence increased 257%, when compared to the period of the previous report.

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In total, there were 25 thousand petitions in the area. Domestic violence was also the seventh most frequent subject of care, accounting for 17 thousand records, against 10 thousand in the previous period – an increase of 70%.

As the leader of the Nucleus for the Defense of Women (NUDEM), public defender Tatiana Kosby Boeira points out, people are denouncing more cases of domestic violence and women are more seeking out the authorities to claim their rights and seek help in this area. However, there are also other reasons for the increase in the number of petitions and cases involving domestic violence.

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Pandemic aggravated violence

“Due to the pandemic, this differentiated moment, in which people were forced to stay inside, many women lived with the aggressor for longer. In addition, the worsening economic crisis, the increase in unemployment and the vulnerability of these people made the whole context more tense. So the pandemic was certainly also responsible for this increase”, explains Tatiana.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), Brazil occupies fifth place in the world ranking of femicide and about half of the murders happen in the domestic environment. The Public Defender’s Office is one of the institutions that provides first assistance to the victim, with a team composed of several professionals, such as social workers and psychologists.

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The DPE/RS also sends women to referral homes, files lawsuits involving divorce, dissolution of a stable union, assets, custody and pension. It also monitors the processes in the specialized courts, inspecting compliance with protective measures.

“We also do extrajudicial work that seeks, before punishing, to re-educate the aggressor, offering workshops and groups. Given this increase in assistance and petitions, we hope that women will continue to seek their rights and that yes, people will start to reap and continue to report these cases”, encourages the public defender.

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According to data from the State Public Security Observatory of RS, of the Public Security Secretariat, the state recorded, from January to September this year, 23,425 records of threats, 12,664 cases of bodily harm, 1,462 cases of rape (counting the vulnerable cases), 78 femicide and 185 femicide attempts.

*With information from the Communication Department of the Public Defender of the State of RS.

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Source: BdF Rio Grande do Sul

Edition: Marcelo Ferreira

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