THE Anglican Church of Brazil is running what is believed to be the only church safe-house in Brazil for women who are victims of domestic violence.
Brazil has the seventh-highest rate of violence against women in the world: a woman is assaulted every 24 seconds, and one is murdered every two hours, the World Heath Organization has said.
The Brazilian President, Dilma Rousseff, has launched a zero-tolerance policy towards violence against women and girls, but the new legislation can be poorly implemented, and many victims are scared of coming forward, Christian Aid said. The charity supports the safe-house project, and made it the subject of its Easter appeal this year.
The church safe-house, Casa Noeli, run by a woman priest, the Revd Elineide Ferreira Oliveira, is the only church-run safe-house for women in Brazil. It can house ten women and their children at one time, and serves a population of 150,000 people from eight cities.
Women receive counselling, and are taught new skills to help them earn their own living.
The Christian Aid manager for Brazil, Paulo Barasioli, said: “Casa Noeli is concrete proof of the successes of working to prevent and cope with domestic violence. The house really shows us that it is possible to act, and it’s possible to do something to stop violence against women.”