As part of the project called "Domestic Violence Against Women: full justice and monitoring of the effectiveness of FRIDA (Brazil's Risk Assessment and Life Protection Form)" by the EU-Brazil Sector Dialogues Support Facility, the National Council of the Prosecution Service (CNMP), through the Committee for the Defence of Fundamental Rights (CDDF), and the Delegation of the European Union to Brazil will hold 10 training courses by the end of this year on FRIDA. The courses will take place in Brazilian Federal States interested in adopting the form as in providing services for women victims of domestic violence.
FRIDA was created in the scope of the Sector Dialogues to prevent and face crimes in the context of domestic and family violence against women. The goal of the "Course on the FRIDA Form: Evaluating risk in cases of domestic violence against women" is to present FRIDA, the instructions for its use, and the guidelines for implementing this tool.
August 6th marked the start of the third phase of the project's training, which took place in the city of Rio de Janeiro, and welcomed participants in the FRIDA project for a course focused on representatives from the Justice and Public Safety Systems and professionals who work in the service network specialised in applying the Maria da Penha Act and the Femicide Act. Participating in the training was the Governor of the State of Rio de Janeiro, Wilson Witzel, who first learned about FRIDA on April 18th of this year through a meeting held at the Rio de Janeiro seat of government with CNMP board member Valter Shuenquener. On that occasion, Witzel showed his interest in implementing the form in his state.
FRIDA training was also held in Palmas, Tocantins, on Thursday (Aug. 15) for members of the women's protection network. The event received the Support of the Maria da Penha Centre of the Tocantins Prosecution Service. Tocantins and Rio de Janeiro are among the ten Brazilian states that are part of the third phase of the FRIDA project.
The course will take place at the end of the month in Mato Grosso do Sul, and the training will be offered in other states like Santa Catarina, Rondônia, Pará and Alagoas by the end of the year.
In the first half of this year, the training was provided in five states as part of the second phase of the FRIDA project. On May 17th and 24th, the course was held in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais, and in João Pessoa, Paraíba, respectively. In April, the form was presented in Fortaleza, Ceará, on the 9th, in Teresina, Piauí, on the 11th, and in Boa Vista, Roraima, on the 23rd, to personnel from the Public Defender's Office, Civil and Military Police, Court of Justice, Brazilian Bar Association, the state government, NGOs, and the network for protecting women and against domestic violence.
State attorneys general like Plácido Barroso Rios from Ceará, Cleandro Moura from Piauí, Anônio Sérgio Tonet from Minas Gerais, and Janaína Carneiro Costa from Roraima attended the events. The meeting in Paraíba was attended by the deputy attorney general of the state, Álvaro Gadele, as well as judges and secretaries of state.
Sociologist Wânia Pasinato, hired as an expert by the Sector Dialogues, and a specialist in domestic and family violence against women and one of the people in charge of developing the assessment form, participated in all the FRIDA presentation courses in the different Brazilian states. She explained that the idea for the name was the result of a play with the letters of the initials for "Formulário de avaliação de risco em caso de violência doméstica contra mulheres," (Risk Assessment Form for cases of domestic violence against women), which ended up gaining an association with the name of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo, an icon of feminism.
Wânia also talked about the making of the form proposed by the CNMP and by the European Union for evaluating the risk of domestic violence. "It is a support tool. It needs to be used for serving our clients. It is good for standardizing the risk assessment, which, somehow is already being done, but we are standardizing it to produce indicators of domestic violence against women. Here in Brazil, one important goal of this instrument is to enhance the enforcement of the Maria da Penha Act. One of the challenges that we are still facing is the enforcement of restraining orders. Women are denied these orders, even when they are necessary, because the judge is uncertain or does not recognize that there is a risk of violence in such a situation," she explained.
FRIDA is made up of two parts: one with questions and a scale for classifying the severity of the risk, and another with questions aimed at evaluating women's objective physical and emotional conditions to prevent aggravating violence in the short term. The form must be filled out by trained professionals who work in serving women in violent situations. The risk assessment should be used in women's first contact with a specialized or non-specialized service, including psychologists, social workers, legal advisers, civil and military police officers, public defenders, promoters of justice, doctors and nurses.
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