Promundo and Market Analysis Release New Research on Violence Against Women in Brazil

Promundo, in partnership with the independent research firm Market Analysis, launched the report Dimensioning Gender-Based Violence in Brazil: A Study on Perceptions and Experiences of Violence Among Women in May 2018.

Conducted by Market Analysis, the study included the experiences of more than 1,000 individuals across Brazil, revealing that gender-based violence is still a troubling reality for a significant portion of the population. The report aims to increase understanding of the extent of sexual harassment and gender-based violence in Brazil today, draw global attention to the issue, and provide recommendations for action to prevent future violence.

Key findings from the research include:

Rates of violence

  • 1 in 3 Brazilian women (33%) reported having experienced some form of gender-based violence or sexual harassment in the past year: 10% reported having experienced physical or psychological violence, 13% reported having experienced some form of sexual harassment, and 10% reported having experienced both violence and harassment.
  • 6 in 10 women (60%) reported having been sexually harassed by friends, relatives, or acquaintances in the past year – aligning with other research showing that perpetrators are usually within the social circles of women who experience violence.
  • Of respondents, 44% reported experiencing sexual harassment while using some form of public transportation, attending parties, or simply walking on the street. Workplaces were another common setting for sexual harassment, with 29% of women reporting harassment at work.

Socioeconomic status

  • 1 in 5 women reported having experienced gender-based violence, consistent across socioeconomic classes.
  • High-income women were more likely to report having experienced sexual harassment than low-income women were (34% versus 18%), despite the fact that low-income women are more often exposed to violence. This finding may point to how low-income women are more likely to minimize abusive acts, not identifying situations as harassment that women in safer socioeconomic situations perceive as such.


  • While 1 in 4 women was exposed to unwanted sexual advances regardless of educational attainment, rates of gender-based violence were inversely associated with levels of education. The higher the educational level, the lower the incidence of gender-based violence, reinforcing the key role of education as an instrument for women’s empowerment against violence.


  • There was a strong correlation between age and women’s experiences of gender-based violence: the younger the woman, the more likely she was to have experienced violence in the last year.
  • Half of the respondents aged 18 years or younger reported having experienced some form of violence in the last year, while about 3 in 10 women aged 19 to 24 reported having experienced violence (29%); rates continued to decrease as age increased.

Consequences of violence

  • Physical and psychological violence have a variety of negative physical and mental impacts on women’s lives, as well as direct consequences to personal, family, and social structures.
  • In terms of self-perceived health, victims of sexual harassment or gender-based violence considered themselves less healthy than women who had not had such experiences.
  • Violence also impacts women’s self-esteem: victims of sexual harassment perceived themselves as slightly less capable mothers than women who had not experienced harassment.

Together with Market Analysis, Promundo created a series of infographics to share these research findings, highlighting data from Dimensioning Gender-Based Violence in Brazil and the 2017 State of the World’s Fathers: Time for Action report. The graphics aim to increase visibility of the gender-based violence and sexual harassment that Brazilian women experience, as well as provide global strategies for increasing men’s engagement in nonviolent caregiving and partnership a key entry point for preventing violence and inequalities.

View the graphics here:

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