Children Orphaned by Femicide Suffer Trauma of Mother's Death and Father's Imprisonment

Crime kills more than 1,300 women a year in Brazil

São Paulo

In the house where they live in Manaus, brothers Alice, 11, and Lucas, 10, play interview each other with the report's recorder. "What do you want to be when you grow up?"; "Do you miss your mother?"

The last question suggests the pain of loss shared by the children: they were 6 and 4 years old when they witnessed their mother being murdered by her husband, in 2016.

At the age of 23, Josilene Ferreira de Araújo was beaten, stabbed and suffocated with a pillow. After the crime, Diego do Nascimento Pacheco left his wife's body in the children's room, wrapped in a sheet.

Orphaned by their mother and with their father imprisoned, Alice's and Lucas' grandparents took them in and they underwent therapy for three years to learn how to move forward after the trauma. Alice testified at the trial of her father, who was sentenced to 17 years in prison in 2019.

Josilene was the victim of a violent crime that remains at a high level in Brazil: the murder of women because of their gender condition, that is, because they are women. There were 1,350 femicides last year, according to the Brazilian Public Security Forum.

Translated by Kiratiana Freelon

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