By Melissa Van Brunnersum, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – In the year 2017, Brazil’s free telephone service for human rights violations and domestic violence, “Disque 100” (Dial 100), received a total of 142,666 complaints nationwide. The service is the country’s main communication platform for reporting violence.
The total number of reports is 9,604 more than those registered in 2016. The data was recently released by the National Ombudsman of the Ministry of Human Rights.
The representative of the national human rights public advocate, Erica Queiroz, explained that the increase in reports of violence is not necessarily due to an increase in violence against these groups, but is likely attributed to a higher awareness of Dial 100 and its work.
“Campaigns in the last year, including spontaneous insertions in novelas [soap operas], for example, have had great repercussions,” said Erica Queiroz.
The call center operates 24-hours a day and has three service centers. One can simply dial 100 by phone or make a secure inquiry through the “Proteja Brasil” application or through the “Humaniza Redes” website.
Complaints can be made anonymously, and secrecy is guaranteed. Complaints are analyzed and forwarded to state protection agencies who then take action within 24 hours.
“The main objective is not to identify the suspect or initiate a criminal prosecution, but to remove the victim from a cycle of violence,” explained Queiroz.
The majority of the cases involved violation of rights against children and adolescents, followed by violations against the elderly and people with disabilities.
The telephone service allows anyone to report violence of all forms, from verbal abuse to physical abuse, police violence, and institutional violence such as racial or gender discrimination and restrictions on liberty. The team at “Disque 100” are qualified in psychology and social work.
In 2017, reports of violations against children and adolescents increased by ten percent over a year. Many of the complaints consisted of more than one type of violation and involved more than one victim.
The majority of the victims were aged between four and seven years old. Forty five percent of all cases took place in the victim’s home.
The most reported case of violations among children and adolescents was negligence (61,416 cases), followed by psychological violence (39,561), and sexual violence (20,330).
The data also shows a thirty percent increase in the number of reports concerning violations against people with disabilities. Sixty-seven percent of all allegations were due to negligence and thirty percent of the cases involved physical violence. Sixty-four percent of the cases occurred in the victim’s home.
Violations against elderly peoples also saw an increase with 33,133 complaints made within a year. Seventy-seven percent of the reports involved negligence, 56 percent involved psychological violence, and 43 percent of cases involved financial and economic abuse. Over 76 percent took place in the victim’s own home.
Reports of violence against lesbians, gays, bisexuals, and transgenders had a decrease of eight percent. It is the only group that showed a decrease in complaints.
The data indicate that 2,998 LGBT people suffered violence in 2017. Seventy percent experienced discrimination, 53 percent suffered psychological violence, and 31 percent experienced physical violence.