Protesters put 420 pairs of women’s panties on Copacabana Beach
They represent the number of rapes committed every 72 hours in Brazil
Since the deliberation of Brock Turner, the discussions surrounding rape has blown up. However, the case of a young girl who was gang raped in Brazil has been overshadowed by the Stanford case as one case is receiving more coverage than the other. Both cases are truly horrifying, despite the discrepancy in coverage.
According to Latino News, the national protest against rape on Brazil’s most famous beach, Copacabana, was to bring attention to the 420 women raped every three days in Brazil. It is estimated that 50,000 sexual assaults against women every year, most of which are never reported to the police.
This protests occurred 15 days after a 38-second-long video of a 16-year-old girl who appeared to have been passed out, naked, and bleeding on the floor was uploaded on Twitter. CNN reports that the male voices could be heard in the background, bragging that “at least 30” people had unconsensual sex with her.
The Brazilian police are said to be in identifying the 30 men involved, but no arrests have been made so far.
New York Times reports that the total number of men who raped her was 33, and not 30.
This protest is extremely important for young women around the world, especially the ones in Brazil. I asked some Brazilian college students about their take on this national rape protest.
Samantha Pires, an Architecture student at NJIT, says that rape in Brazil is overlooked.
“Brazil is a with a lot of political corruption and crime – it’s in the top 20 percent with intentional homicide and because of that, rape is overlooked since it is the lesser crime.”
Cynthia Luz, a Fordham University student, says that she is pleased that this protest is occurring in her home country because of the treatment she received while she was there: “Brazil has a hyper-sexualized culture and when I’ve gotten cat called in Brazil, my family would blame me for wearing shorts or leggings,” Luz said. “I feel like the world should finally wake up about this.”
Amanda Pandini, a Rutgers University student, agrees that rape culture is not talked about enough in Brazil and this needs a reform.
“Rape culture is not frowned upon enough in Brazil and is especially ignored in areas of extreme poverty,” Pandini said. “And through this protest, may women be empowered to speak out and stand up for the victims in our country. May it wake up the nation to honor women and respect their bodies as temples, not to be violated and destroyed.”
This is not about one girl in Brazil – but rather the thousands who are unheard. The outrage against Brock Turner is much needed, but one shouldn’t turn a blind-eye to the those who unable to voice their stories and do not have the support that other women have in the United States do. Just like the amount of media coverage Turner’s case has received, we must do the same for this 16-year-old girl who was gang raped by 33 men.