Revelers at a street party hold fans which read "Nao é Nao" or "No Means No"

Around the world, Brazil’s Carnival is synonymous with parties and, why not, a bit of flirting. However, in a country where 131 femicides occur every day, having safe fun and being respected as a woman is not that easy. Fortunately, this scenario may change in 2019’s Carnival, when sexual harassment will be considered a crime for the first time in Brazil.

</span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Since September 2018, a new law has classified performing a libidinous act against someone, without their consent, as a criminal offense. Before this law, actions such as touching someone without authorization were considered misdemeanors and aggressors were often released after paying a fine. Now, they may be </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">imprisoned for up to 5 years</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">So far, many cases of harassment have been reported on public transportation and perpetrators have been arrested. In the Federal District,</span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;"> 53 cases were reported last year</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> after the law was sanctioned, according to the Senate. But Carnival is being considered the greatest test for this new law. </span></p> <h2>Prevention and support</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Besides the much needed legal support provided by law, the government, NGOs and even companies are putting together some initiatives to prevent sexual assault during the festivities. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">The most recent one is a partnership between Google and Brazilian feminist NGO Think Olga. Through Google Assistant, a user justs need to say, in Portuguese “Ok, Google. </span><i><span style="font-weight: 400;">Como reportar assédio sexual</span></i><span style="font-weight: 400;">?” (Ok, Google. How do I report sexual harassment?) to obtain the numbers of the military police and women in violent situations support center—190 and 180, respectively. Google Assistant will also show Think Olga’s website for further information. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In São Paulo, the </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">“lilac bus”</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;"> will be on call some spots during Carnival providing women’s assistance. There will be psychologists, lawyers and social workers on board and available to help. Also, if they are able to identify their aggressors, they can warn the municipal guard and officers will detain him. The municipal government will gather data from the occurrences to create a database. Later, they aim to come up with actions to prevent the issue. </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">In Recife, the &#8220;Central do Carnaval&#8221; will also provide special support for women, as well as a phone number for assistance and volunteers circulating on the streets. They will provide information about how to prevent femicide. In Paraíba state, the government will exhibit an </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">awareness campaign</span></a> <a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">on TV, radio, and social media</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">; 100 thousand fans carrying the campaign’s message will be distributed. Rio de Janeiro has also created its own awareness campaign and social workers have been alerting the population about the changes in the law.   </span></p> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">Salvador will also fight against LGBTphobia, a topic that has gained attention recently in Brazil after a </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">Supreme Court trial to criminalize it</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">. The capital of Bahia, which has one of the most famous Carnivals in Brazil, will have a center for the </span><a href=""><span style="font-weight: 400;">observatory against racism, LGBTphobia and violence against women</span></a><span style="font-weight: 400;">, as well as six gazebos around the city. A total of 160 people will work to provide assistance and three specialized police stations will be available: one for LGBTphobia and racism cases, the other two for occurrences involving women.</span></p> <p><img class="alignnone size-full wp-image-14494" src="" alt="harassment carnival brazil" width="910" height="607" srcset=" 910w, 300w, 768w, 610w" sizes="(max-width: 910px) 100vw, 910px" /></p> <h2>If you need help…</h2> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">See below how to find support and report harassment cases during Carnival:</span></p> <h3><b>Nationwide</b></h3> <ul> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Military police: 190</span></li> </ul> <h3>São Paulo</h3> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">March 2 and 3:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Lilac bus will be available at Praça da República from 3 pm to 8 pm</span></li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">March 4 and 5:</span></p> <ul> <li style="font-weight: 400;"><span style="font-weight: 400;">The Lilac bus will be available at the cross between Av. Tiradentes and Rua Ribeiro de Lima from 3 pm to 8 pm </span></li> </ul> <h3><b>Salvador</b></h3> <ul> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Special police station for women: +55-71-3116-7000</span></li> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">WhatsApp number to report harassment: +55-71-98622-5494</span></li> </ul> <h3><b>Paraíba</b></h3> <ul> <li><span style="font-weight: 400;">Call to report harassment: 197</span></li> <li>Call to report domestic violence: 190</li> </ul> <p><span style="font-weight: 400;">

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SocietyMar 04, 2019

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