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BBB 23: abusive relationships are not exclusive to ‘fragile women’, warns an expert


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Last Sunday, the presenter of Big Brother Brasil had to warn one of the participants about his behavior on the reality show. Tadeu Schmidt addressed Gabriel Tavares and asked the model for more caution in his relationship within the program with actress Bruna Griphao.

“Those who are involved in a relationship may not even realize it, they think it’s normal. But outsiders can see when boundaries are about to be seriously crossed,” Schmidt said, adding that members of the household considered the couple “toxic”.

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“Gabriel, in an affective relationship, certain things cannot be said even as a joke”, he warned.

The alert came after several aggressive statements by the 24-year-old model, which sparked accusations of psychological abuse on social media.

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In one of the episodes, after Bruna said that he was the “man of the relationship”, he responded in a hostile way: “But you’re going to take some elbows in the mouth”. At another point, Gabriel claims that the actress “looks like a scab” for always being by her side.

In several circumstances, however, the artist refutes the aggressions and questions the model for his attitudes. Because of this and because of her strong personality, many viewers of the program were surprised by the fact that Bruna was involved in an abusive relationship.

But according to Daniela Pedroso, a specialist in violence against women who has been working in the area for 25 years, contrary to what many believe, not only fragile and condescending women can be victims of toxic men.

“It is a myth that only fragile women or those who are not empowered can suffer an abusive relationship. In fact, it can be present in all of our lives”, says the psychologist who works with victims of violence.

According to Pedroso, in cases like these, the fact that a woman rejects her partner’s aggression does not mean that she is not in a problematic and violent relationship.

“Especially when it comes to couples with more economic conditions or social power, the situation of abuse often does not come to light. The disadvantaged population has thin walls at home, while in the case of the richest, the wall is thick and we cannot hear it. the screams”, he explains, using an analogy.

The expert draws attention to a case of Judge Viviane Vieira do Amaral, killed by her own ex-husband in Rio de Janeiro in 2020 in a case of domestic violence and femicide.

“This proves how the abusive relationship is present everywhere. This judge knew the law, worked with cases of violence and yet unfortunately she was a victim”.

What is an abusive relationship?

In an abusive relationship, the presence of at least one of these types of violence is noted: verbal, emotional, psychological, physical, sexual, financial and technological (this ranges from veiled control of the victim’s social networks to insistence on obtaining personal passwords, control of conversations, likes and friendships online).

To characterize it, factors such as the suffering caused in a person, the frequency of abuse, cycles of aggression and escalation of violence are taken into account.

In addition, in abusive relationships there is usually a discrepancy in the power of one in relation to the other, that is, a position of inequality. This type of relationship follows certain patterns and generates recurring feelings such as doubts, mental confusion, anxiety, insecurity and hope that the partner will change and the abuse will stop.

“And unfortunately, women often feel discredited, blame themselves for what is happening”, says Daniela Pedroso.

According to the expert, relationships of this type still tend to follow a pattern. “It usually starts quietly and then goes through a few phases,” she says.

The expert explains that the first phase is the tension phase, when the insults and threats begin. The second is that of crisis. “In cases of violence, that’s when pushing, punching and other aggressions begin”.

The third phase is the honeymoon. “That’s when the man changes his behavior, apologizes and there can be a reconciliation. Then the cycle starts again.”

One in three women has suffered sexual or physical violence, according to the UN, which points out that most are practiced by partners.

In Brazil, the Maria da Penha law came into effect in 2006 as an attempt to facilitate the punishment of perpetrators of domestic violence. And since 2021, the Penal Code also includes the crime of psychological violence against women.

But are the victims always women? Not necessarily, but most of the time. Different studies indicate that in more than 80% of cases the abuser is a man and the victim is a woman.

How to get out of an abusive relationship?

Pedroso saw Big Brother’s attitude of alerting the participants about the case as positive, as in addition to raising the awareness of the participants, it also takes the opportunity to touch on the topic on national television.

“Many women do not realize that they are living in an abusive relationship and calling attention to the problem sheds light on a problem that we, health professionals, are sometimes only able to address with a limited number of people”, he says.

The specialist also advises women who have realized their situation to seek help as soon as possible, as it is necessary to intervene. “Today it is much simpler to seek help than in the past. There are several public bodies prepared to deal with cases like this in Brazil”, she says.

According to Pedroso, women can go to the Police Stations for the Defense of Women, the Casa da Mulher Brasileira – a humanized service center specialized in domestic violence – and even the public health services in their municipality.

In more serious cases, victims can still use the strategy developed by the Red Light Campaign, which advises women to go to a pharmacy, drugstore, supermarket, hotel or condominium participating in the action and present a red X drawn on one of their hands. to one of the attendants at the site, instructed to ask the police for help.

For those who want to report a case of physical or psychological abuse, the advice is to call the police (190) in emergency situations, such as when a neighbor is suffering violence.

If it is to report cases that are not occurring at that exact moment, the orientation is to contact the Call Center for Women in Situations of Violence (Call 180), which is a federal government service, free of charge and which preserves anonymity.

This text was originally published here

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