Revealing Key Insights from Study of Brazil’s Maria da Penha Domestic Violence Law

 

 

WLP’s Brazil partner CEPIA revealed key findings from its study on the Maria da Penha law during it's March 2016 event titled Services to Make Responsible the Perpetrators of Domestic Violence: Reflecting on Gender and Masculinity in Rio de Janeiro (Os Serviços de Responsabilização dos Homens Autores de Violência Doméstica e Familiar contra a Mulher: Refletindo Sobre Gênero e Masculinidades). In attendance were approximately 70 academics, students, NGO workers, social workers, police officers, judges, and other public servants.

The Maria da Penha law, enacted in 2006, recognizes domestic violence as a crime in Brazil. One of the law’s provisions states that services, such as counseling, should be offered to the perpetrators of violence against women. CEPIA undertook research in five of the country’s capitals evaluating the implementation of this provision and the possibilities for measuring its impact. 

CEPIA’s study found that few institutions complied with the task of providing services for male aggressors, and those that did were not equipped with the capabilities to monitor or evaluate the effectiveness of their activities. Moreover, these institutions did not communicate with one another about these services, nor did they have a larger regional or national strategy in place to implement them. The study also found resistance among service providers to work with these male aggressors, as well as resistance in general to the idea of resources being channeled to the perpetrators.

The findings of this study can help Brazil’s service providers better implement the provision. 

During the March 2016 event, CEPIA also debuted the Portuguese translation of WLP’s Victories over Violence: Ensuring Safety for Women and Girls Practitioner's Manual. This training manual, originally published in English in 2012, explores topics of violence in the private, public, and global realms, and provides guidance for women who aim to prevent future violence from occurring. In a separate meeting, CEPIA presented the manual, along with WLP’s film From Fear to Freedom: Ending Violence Against Women, to four women filmmakers from the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro who plan to deliver trainings to women from low-income communities.

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