By Dorah Feliciano, Contributing Reporter

BRASILIA, BRAZIL – To give battered women a voice and gather more precise data on domestic violence, the Commission for the Defense of Women’s Rights in Brazil’s Chamber of Deputies launched last week the “I am Glória” project, an Artificial Intelligence platform aimed at combating violence against women.

Brazil,New project is launched in Brazil aimed at helping women victims of domestic violence,
A new project is launched in Brazil aimed at helping women victims of domestic violence, photo by Marcos Santos/USP.

“It works for both sides, for the victim and for the information gatherer; (it is) a good practice manual within a company, as an instruction for men who make certain jokes, say phrases and do not know that the machismo is a cultural issue,” university professor Cristina Castro de Lucas de Souza, one of the creators of “Gloria”, told government news agency, Agencia Brasil.

Each time a person interacts with the artificial intelligence (AI) bot on the platform, the information will be added to the software repertoire, improving the content that reaches the users who consult it.

The goal, according to its creators, is to impact more than twenty million women in the first year. They say the project “I am Gloria” is an important step in protecting women, promising to connect, unite and be a safe haven for victims of violence.

The project’s first big test will be on May 5th, when it is scheduled to appear in totem poles placed around the Free Free Festival in São Paulo.

“I’m sure together we can change the world. A world where our girls’ life is safe, happy and free. A world where our girls can be who they want to be, without fear, without guilt, without shame,” says Yasmin Sterea, on her Instagram account. Sterea is another woman who helped with the development of “Gloria”.

Professor Souza says the proposal is to provide clarification to the victims as well as women who still cannot recognize what aggression is.

“Gloria” has her own profile on the social network Instagram and her own website where any user can access and interact with the robot Gloria, anonymously if preferred.

“We think it’s more than a bot; it is a sum of all of us. Looking at Gloria, I see her in many contexts: the woman from the periphery, the rich woman. And that’s going to be her beauty: to give voice to any woman who needs it,” concludes Souza.

Brazil,Women protest against feminicide at Brasilia's main bus terminal,
Women protest against feminicide at Brasília’s main bus terminal, photo by Wilson Dias/Agência Brasil.

The number of cases of violence against women in Brazil is staggering.

According to Relógios da Violência (Violence Timeclock), developed by the Maria da Penha Institute, a woman is a victim of physical or verbal violence every two seconds in Brazil. There were 221,238 reports of domestic violence in 2017; more than 606 cases per day. Rape cases increased by 10.1 percent from 2016 to 2017 and altogether, 61,032 cases were reported.

Brazil’s Ministry of Health reports that in 2016 every 2.5 hours a woman was the victim of gang rape in the country.

Deaths considered as feminicide (the killing of a person because of her gender) totaled 1,133 cases. Forty-five percent of feminicides which occurred in the country were due to men or partners not accepting a divorce or separation.

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