Domestic Abuse, Shown Blow by Blow, Shocks Brazil

Domestic Abuse, Shown Blow by Blow, Shocks Brazil


On Instagram, Ms. Spitzner’s sister Luana Spitzner created a page called TodosPorTatiane, or Everyone for Tatiane, which was has been followed by 112,000 people. On it, she warns: “Violence leaves marks. Not seeing them leaves femicides.”

As the images spread, horrified Brazilians took to Twitter to urge people to intervene to stop domestic violence, posting messages at #metaAcolher, or “stick a spoon in,” a reference to a popular Brazilian saying, “When it’s a fight between husband and wife, don’t stick a spoon in.”

One widely shared Twitter message encouraged readers, “When you hear a call for help, stick a spoon in, call the police, try to prevent another femicide — the killing of girls or women, particularly by a man and on account of gender.”

Many on social media also used the hashtags #feminicidio and #MariaDaPenha, noting that the violence occurred just before the anniversary of a groundbreaking 2006 domestic abuse law imposing long sentences on offenders and named in honor of a survivor of violence, Maria da Penha.

“In Brazil, we have a very good law,” said Ms. Canineu of Human Rights Watch. “The problem is that it’s not being implemented.”

The first issue is that only a quarter of women who suffer violence report it to the police.

“There are many reasons — stigma, economic dependence or concern for children,” Ms. Canineu said. “But often, it’s the conviction that the state won’t do anything.”

Brazil has the seventh-highest rate of femicide in the world, with 4.4 murders per 100,000 women, according to a 2012 Brazilian survey called the Map of Violence. That’s more than double the rate in the United States.



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