Brazil is the country of Carnival and beaches, where dancers, performers and visitors dressed in revealing mini bikinis and outfits are seemingly the norm.
Yet, the majority of people in Latin American country believe a woman who shows off her body and wears revealing clothing deserve to be raped, according to a study by a government-run research institute.
Brazilian newspaper Folha de S. Paulo reported a survey released this week by the government’s Institute of Applied Economic Research (IPEA), found that most Brazilian – about 65 – percent agree that it is justified to rape women “wearing clothes showing their bodies.”
About 58 percent of respondents also agreed that “if women knew how to behave, there would be fewer rapes.”
The institute interviewed 3,810 people of both sexes between May and June 2013 – most of whom were women.
The study also showed that 91 percent of Brazilians agree that “a man beating his wife has to go to jail” while 82 percent disagree with the statement that “a woman who gets beaten at home should be quiet to not harm the children.”
Folha de S. Paulo reported that the study concluded that in regards to sexual violence, “most people still consider women as responsible for the behavior due to wearing of provocative clothing or ‘inappropriate’ behavior” and yet they believe physical violence is not tolerated.
Carmita Abdo, the coordinator of the Sexuality Studies program at the University of Sao Paolo, told the newspaper that the results of the study are not surprising because Brazilian society still blames the victim in cases of abuse.
“What leads to harassment or rape is not the clothes that the woman is wearing, but anyone who want to harass or rape,” she said.
These results have prompted outrage from Brazilian women and some men who took to social media and blogs to voice their anger.
In Brazil, journalist Nana Queiroz launched an online protest event on Facebook inviting women to take pictures of themselves topless while covering their breasts accompanied with the phrase: “#NãoMereçoSerEstuprada” which translates to “#IDon’tDeserveToBeRaped.”
Brazil’s President Dilma Rouseff also criticized the poll results, saying the government-run study shows that the country’s “society still has a long way to go in combating violence against women.”
“It also shows that the government and society must work together to tackle violence against women inside and outside the home,” she said on her Twitter account. “Zero tolerance for violence against women.”