Domestic Violence and Gender
These analyzes start by observing the significance of violence, and it can be observed that, in its literal sense, it is a violent, aggressive or embarrassing act. In the academic sense, the discussion of violence is associated with the theory of abuse with its broad and complex manifestations, which include words, attitudes of ironies, disqualifications, arbitrariness, aggression and various forms of social exclusion, driven, among other factors, by stigma and prejudices.
Thus, “when violence is discussed as a threat to life, one can not omit or discard the discussion of stigmas and prejudices that can generate it”. Stigmata are factors of prejudice and both promote and justify discrimination and disrespect for the condition of being human and being a citizen.
Therefore, the expressions of the violent process, its factors and its results must be understood more broadly and profoundly, without limiting them to physical acts, but understanding them in the diverse forms of origin and historical, social, economic, political, philosophical, psychological, existential and cultural.
It is known that violence is not defined only on the physical plane
Only your visibility can be greater in this plane. This observation is justified when it is found that violence such as irony, omission and indifference do not receive the same limits, restrictions or punishments in the social environment as physical acts of violence. However, these “weapons” of psychological and emotional repercussion have as much or profound effect as the weapons that hit and injure the body, because the “white weapons” of irony hurt a precious value of the human being: self-esteem.
Therefore, to think about domestic and gender violence, two essential premises are required: their broad and contextualized understanding and the understanding that their social manifestations are inserted in the analysis of the various aspects of domination and the lack of ethical guiding principles of conduct , which influence the lack of limits.
The word “limits” may be subject to interpretations that associate it with the restriction of freedom, external control, or the imposition of conduct. However, the ethical understanding of boundaries has a broader and more essential sense of parameters, definitions, criteria, values that guide personal life and social relationships.
The limits, decided and assumed by ethical principles of conduct, reflect the interests of each person, attuned to social interests; this is one of the principles of belonging to a collective within the family and society, establishing constructive and emancipatory relationships.
The limits – ethical contours of relationships – represent values, with significant human, political, existential content. Thus, it is necessary and possible to reaffirm the relevance of the limits for personal and collective life.
The limits demarcate the spaces of individual freedom, in order to preserve the collective spaces. Boundaries bring people closer to their family and social groups, and are references to behaviors that qualify, respect, and understand their rights and duties.
Limits favor the overcoming of self-centered interests by shared interests; solitary individualisms, by solidarity individuals; of the inconsequence of authoritarianism, by the competence of authority; the unconsciousness of arbitrariness, the consciousness of freedom.
The importance of limits is the importance of criteria of justice, ethics, equity, human dignity; is the importance of the “law” of life and “living with”, of creating bonds that strengthen the values of citizenship and the preservation of human dignity, respect for the plurality and attitude of inclusion, preservation and fulfillment of these values. With these considerations, one arrives at the analysis of significant elements of the approach of domestic and gender violence.
In this context of analysis, it is especially important to consider the advance, in the sense of protection and security, provided by the creation of the Special Secretariat for Policies for Women, in January 2003, with Ministry status . Undoubtedly, SEPM is a significant body of policy development and implementation in favor of gender equality and prevention, assistance and combating violence against women.
The publication of the “Program for Prevention, Assistance and Combating Violence against Women – National Plan” is one of the highlights of SEPM’s productions. The dialogues on domestic and gender violence, which are presented in this publication of SEPM, deserve special attention, for the subsidies they offer to the discussion of this problem that stresses society.
The Minister Emília Fernandes points out
The phenomenon of gender violence, also called violence against women, occurs worldwide and affects women at all ages, education levels, social classes, races, ethnicity and sexual orientation. Gender violence, in its aspects of physical, sexual and psychological violence, is a problem that is linked to power, where on one side dominates men’s domination over women, and on the other, a dominant ideology that gives them support.
It is important to remember that domestic violence is contemplated by the Federal Constitution of Brazil, in its article 226, paragraph 8, which assumes the value and commitment of security: “The State shall provide assistance to the family, in the person of each of the integrating, creating mechanisms to restrain violence in the context of relations “.
Violence, poverty, ethnic and racial discrimination constitute the scene of disrespect, disqualification and abuse.
Sueli Carneiro points out, referring to Ruffino
Domestic violence affects women of all races, but there is a worsening of domestic violence when a woman is black because of racism that creates additional violence. US statistics show that the homicide rate for black women is 12.3 per 100,000 murders, while the rate for white women is 2.9 to 100,000. Black women between the ages of 16 and 24 are three times more likely to be raped than white women.
The data presented in Carneiro’s article reveal significant indicators that deserve to be highlighted by the aspects that inform black women in Brazil. Exemplary are the indices presented by the Seade Foundation, which indicate the life expectancy for white women in 71 years, while Afro-descendants have this estimate in 50 years.
Carneiro’s study also reports, among other data, that “when employed, black women earn, on average, half of what white women earn and four times less than white men earn.
Benedito Medrado and Jorge Lyra also help to understand the dimension of domestic violence, reporting alarming percentages
In different Latin American countries, studies point to a significant number of women who claim to have been victims of physical violence by their partner. In some countries, the percentage of women who reported being physically assaulted by a man reached 50%. The lowest percentage was 20%. In Brazil, in particular, an estimated 300,000 women reported having been physically assaulted by their husbands or partners each year. More than half of all women murdered in Brazil were killed by their intimate partners.
Studies with men also show a worrying situation. In Rio de Janeiro, a survey published in 2003, in which 749 men, aged between 15 and 60 years were interviewed, pointed out that 25.4% reported having used physical violence against the partner, 17.2% reported having used sexual violence and 38.8% reported having insulted, humiliated or threatened their partner at least once. In Recife, in 2002, a questionnaire was applied to a total of 170 recruits of the Armed Forces. In the question “Are there moments when women deserve to be beaten?” 25% answered that “yes”; 18% said it “depends”. In addition, 18% stated that “they have already used physical aggression against a woman”
Medrado and Lyra then describe the Brazilian White Ribbon Campaign
In this sense, an important strategy of action has been the Brazilian White Ribbon Campaign, whose general objective is to raise awareness, involve and mobilize men in the engagement to end violence against women, in line with the actions of the organized movements of women and other movements organized by equity and human rights through actions in health, education, work, social action, justice, public security and human rights. More specifically, the national campaign aims to:
- sensitize young men and adults about the implications of violence against women in their own lives and that of other men and offer proposals aimed at changing their attitudes and behavior towards women;
- integrate young men and adults into the Campaign, making them active participants and capable of disseminating the goals of the Campaign to other men;
- disseminate, in the most comprehensive manner possible, the Campaign and existing resources to address male-to-female violence;
- integrate opinion makers through the media, to encourage the dissemination of the Campaign;
- stimulate the formation of public policies in municipalities, which will strengthen the development and sustainability of actions.