Brazilian Law provides a more severe punishment for domestic violence against women under the “Lei Maria da Penha” (the Maria da Penha Law), Law Nº 11.340/2006, which concerns physical, psychological, sexual, patrimonial and moral violence against women of any age. The law also provides protection for female victims of domestic violence by offering urgent protective measures and referring them to care, assistance, monitoring, and shelter services, if necessary.
My partner/husband is aggressive with me. I suffer physical, psychological, sexual and/or moral threats constantly. What can I do?
Report the incident. There are Specialized Police Stations for Women, with professionals trained to serve women victims of violence. However, it is possible to file a complaint at any Police Station or at the Public Defender’s Office. After filing the report, you should inform the police if any protective measures are necessary and also if you are interested in initiating criminal proceedings against the perpetrator. Video recordings, audio or photos help a lot in the process. The judge will have 48 hours to apply protective measures, which may be extended to children and dependents of women victims of violence.
You can also report domestic violence situations through the Women’s Hotline (Central de Atendimento à Mulher) by calling the number 180. The complaint is anonymous and free, available 24/7, nationwide.
- 180: “Central de Atendimento à Mulher” (Women’s Helpline) – Free, 24/7 service that provides support and advises women who are victims of violence.
- 181: Crime Reporting Hotline
- 190: “Polícia Militar” (Military Police)
- 100: Human Rights Violations Hotline
List of Women Reference Centres in Brazil
Please refer to the following website for a list of Women reference centres in Brazil.
LGBTI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual, or Intersex)
The struggle and mobilization of the LGBTI community has resulted in important advances in recent years, such as the creation of the National Council for Combating Discrimination (CNCD / LGBT) and the recognition by the Supreme Court (STF) of stable same-sex unions. However, we still have many challenges to face to ensure full citizenship for all.
In cases of LGBTI-phobic violence, you can contact the Human Rights Violation Hotline (dial: 100), any organization related to LGBTI rights, or go to a police station. For more information, please refer to the section on safety or access our booklet on the rights of LGBTI asylum seekers and refugees.
If you are in São Paulo, there is a police station specialized in intolerance crimes:
Delegacia de Polícia de Repressão aos Crimes Raciais e Delitos de Intolerância – Decradi (Police Office for the Repression of Racial and Intolerance Crimes)
Address: Rua Brigadeiro Tobias, 527 – 3º andar – Luz – São Paulo, SP
Phone: (11) 3311-3555
Office Hours: Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Children and Adolescents
Children and adolescents can be victims of physical or psychological abuse, such as beating, sexual abuse, humiliation and intimidation. Abuse can also be the result of carelessness, abandonment or negligence. Furthermore, child labor is one of the most common violations of children’s rights, which is not permissible under any circumstances.
Report any form of violence against children and adolescents:
- Human Rights Violations Hotline: 100
- Crime Reporting Hotline: 181
In Brazil, there are two mechanisms for protecting the elderly, the “Estatuto do Idoso” (Statute of the Elderly) and the “Política Nacional de Saúde do Idoso” (National Health Policy for the Elderly). The elderly must not suffer discrimination of any kind and they must be supported by their children in their old age. The elderly have the right to:
- Receive comprehensive health care through the public health network;
- Receive treatment and be provided with prostheses, wheel chairs, glasses, hearing aids etc.;
- Receive priority treatment in public and private facilities.
To report any form of violence against the elderly, contact the Human Rights Violations Hotline 100.
I am over 60 years old. What kind of assistance can the government, UNHCR and its partners give me?
The government programme Benefit of Continuing Provision (BPC) is an individual benefit and it is not lifelong or transferable. Established by the 1988 Federal Constitution, it ensures the transfer of one (1) minimum wage for the elderly who is 65 (sixty-five) years or older and proves not to have means to support himself/herself or to be sustained by the family.
To be entitled to the benefit, the applicant must prove that the family’s monthly income per capita is less than one fourth (¼) of the minimum wage. The law determines that the benefit must go through an evaluation every two (2) years.
If you want to apply for the BPC, you should seek legal assistance with the Public Defender’s Office (DPU).
Persons with Disabilities
What is a Disability?
A disability is a condition or function judged to be significantly impaired relative to the usual standard of an individual or a group. The term is used to refer to individual functioning, including physical impairment, sensory impairment, cognitive impairment, intellectual impairment mental illness, and various types of chronic disease.
I have a disability of some kind. What kind of assistance can the government, UNHCR, and its partners give me?
The government programme Benefit of Continuing Provision (BPC) is an individual benefit, it is not lifelong and it is non-transferable. Established by the 1988 Federal Constitution, it ensures the transfer of one (1) minimum wage per month for a disabled person of any age, who proves not to have means to support himself or herself or to be sustained by the family.
To be entitled to the benefit, the applicant must prove that the family’s monthly income per capita is less than one fourth (¼) of the minimum wage. Persons with disabilities must also go through a social and medical evaluation, which will be held by professionals of the National Institute of Social Security (INSS). The law determines that the benefit must go through an evaluation every two (2) years.