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Four in Ten Brazilian Women Say They Have Been Sexually Harassed

12/26/2017 - 12h26

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JÚLIA BARBON
FROM SÃO PAULO

It was 5:40 AM and still dark. Maria, 45, was walking the same three blocks she walks every day to get to her car for another working day when a man on a motorbike pulled up beside her.

"I want you", he said abruptly, as he started throwing cash bills at her. "Give me a blowjob and I'll give you all of this money", he said.

Then he got off the motorbike and started touching her breasts and genitalia. He only let her loose when she started crying and begging him to stop.

Maria isn't an exception. Four out of ten Brazilian women (42%) say they have been the victims of sexual harassment, according to a Datafolha national survey of 1,427 women.

For specialists and representatives of feminist groups the number isn't surprising. They say that the real number of victims is probably even higher, but many are hesitant to talk or aren't sure whether something constitutes harassment or not.

"Sexual harassment is problematic because there is a lack of understanding that it is a kind of violence. Women live with this, but they think that it is just part of being a woman", declared Juliana de Faria, founder of the NGO Think Olga.

The Datafolha survey revealed that one-third of women (29%) say that they have been harassed in the street and one-fifth (22%) while on public transportation. Workplaces are cited by 15% and school settings by 10%, while domestic violence at home is mentioned by 6%.

Translated by LLOYD HARDER

Read the article in the original language

Cris Faga/Fox Press Photo/Folhapress
Women's rights activists hold banners and placards as they march on International Women's Day in São Paulo
Women's rights activists hold banners and placards as they march on International Women's Day in São Paulo

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