Why VAW?

Hello there, I am going to present you here stuffs related to my main topic of interest which is gender violence. I will try to convince you of the reasons why we need to study Violence Against Women (VAW), particularly in Brazil.

Why VAW?

In a more general context, Gender-Based Violence (GBV) refers to harmful acts directed at an individual based on their gender (it includes women and men). However, women suffer disproportionately more.

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), men are more likely to be killed or injured in wars or gang-related violence and also more likely to be physically assaulted or killed on the street by a stranger. While women are more likely to be physically assaulted or murdered by someone they know, often a family member or an intimate partner. Then, Violence Against Women (VAW) doesn't happen as randomly as it does with men, and it is also, in a certain way, more predictable

Moreover, while men are more likely to be the perpetrators of violence, women are more vulnerable to different types of it at different moments in their lives:

Figure: Life Cycle of VAW

Another piece of information that I want to emphasize here is that according to WHO 1 in 3 women globally experience physical or sexual violence (the proportion for the Brazilian scenario is quite similar), so… imagine other types of crime such as moral, psychological, and patrimonial (these are also a crime in Brazil according to the Maria da Penha (MP) Law) - see here.

Therefore, these types of crimes are even more critical when we also considered the consequences not only for the victims but also for children and society.

Why in Brazil?

One of the first reasons to study VAW in Brazil is due to the MP law that was passed in 2006 and was considered by the United Nations (UN) the third best law in the world to combat Domestic Violence (DV). It is because the MP law brings lots of innovations not only related to punishing the offender but also regarding the protection of the victims and even assistance for the aggressors:

Table: Main innovations introduced by law

Note that the law also fosters researches about Domestic Violence (DV), and this is the second reason. Here in Brazil, we have great data on victimization called PCSVDF_Mulher coordinated by professor José Raimundo. These victimization data are quite important because it normally does not depend on self-reported measures to identify DV.

Finally, the third reason is related to the Femicide Law passed in 2015 that imposes stricter treatment against the perpetrator of this type of crime. So, being convicted of femicide is “worse” than female homicide.


I hope that the piece of information that I bring here highlights the importance of this topic in the current research agenda.

Please, if you have any suggestions or comments just e-mail me.