From September 13th to 26th, Vilnius, Rome and Lisbon will host a mission promoted by Brazil and the European Union to tackle domestic violence against women. The goal is to exchange knowledge, experiences and the most effective practices in coping with domestic violence and gender-based crimes.
Among the participants, are authorities from the Brazilian Federal Government and the Brazilian National Council of Public Prosecution (CNMP), namely Valter Shuenquener, counsellor of the CNMP and coordinator of the National Justice and Public Security Strategy (ENASP); Maurício Andreiuolo, Attorney-Regional of the Republic and auxiliary member of ENASP; Heverton Aguiar, Public Prosecutor of the State of Rondônia and collaborating member of ENASP; and Wilfredo Pacheco, federal public servant of the CNMP and advisor at ENASP. In Portugal, the Advocate General of the Union, Grace Mendonça, will also be present, as well as technicians and specialists on the subject from the three countries.
The theme of domestic violence is the framework of the project approved within EU-Brazil Sector Dialogues Support Facility, within the „Human Rights“ “Top-down” high-level political dialogue. Focus is bringing justice to women, especially regarding domestic violence crimes.
The counsellor of CNMP, Valter Shuenquener, stressed that the participation of the CNMP aims to build „a continuous, permanent and effective dialogue“. „The goal is to improve the reality in our country (Brazil) and contribute to the improvement of the fight against domestic violence in the European Union,“ he affirmed.
Following the mission to Europe, a visit of European entities and technicians is planned to Brazil, with the aim of getting to know the Brazilian realities and institutions, thus deepening the exchange of best practices started with the mission to Europe. An international seminar on domestic violence will be held in this context, with the presentation of a book, which shall expose the outcomes of the cooperation carried out in the context of the project.
On August 15th this year, the European Union Delegation to Brazil (DELBRA) and the National Council of Public Prosecution (CNMP) signed a Joint Statement to tackle domestic violence against women. According to the document, DELBRA and the CNMP are committed to putting their best efforts in the project „European Union – Brazil Cooperation to address domestic violence against women“, with the expectation of evolving the progress of humanity. The Head of the EU Delegation to Brazil, João Cravinho, the President of the CNMP and Attorney-General of the Republic, Rodrigo Janot, and the CNMP counsellor and creator of the project, Valter Shuenquener, all attended the event, among other authorities.
Data from the European Institute for Gender Equality (EIGE), based in Vilnius, Lithuania, show that domestic violence against women continues to be a widespread, hidden and poorly communicated practice; the conviction rate is low; the victim support service is inconsistent and unequally is distributed among the countries of the European Union.
In Brazil, an unpublished research paper (Perception of the Society on Violence and Assassination of Women) carried out in partnership with Data Popular and the Patrícia Galvão Institute, taking into account data from 2013, revealed that aggression and rape against women is perceived among the most recurrent crimes in Brazil, after homicide and theft, and drawing more attention than drug trafficking and corruption. Still, according to the results of the study, half of the population considers that the current judicial penalties do not reduce violence against women.
Maria da Penha Law (11.340 / 20016) – completes 11 years of existence. It is the main legislative tool addressing domestic and family violence against women in Brazil. Apart from physical violence, it encompasses sexual, psychological, moral, and property abuse between the victim and the offender – who does not necessarily have to be a spouse, but just have some kind of affective relationship. The name of the law is a tribute to the pharmacist, from the State of Ceará, Maria da Penha, who fought for 20 years to see her attacker arrested.