A video showing a Brazilian man beating his wife and later dragging her dead body back to their apartment has ignited a fierce debate about domestic violence in the South American country.
The video, caught by security cameras, shows Luís Felipe Manvailer hitting and kicking his wife of five years, Tatiane Spitzner, in their apartment building. The three-minute video was recorded on July 22 and publicly broadcast on Brazilian TV program Fantástico on Sunday, The New York Times reports.
The security footage shows Manvailer assaulting Spitzner in a car in the parking garage of the couple’s apartment complex before he drags her out and chases her into an elevator. While on the elevator, the two struggle as Manvailer shoves Spitzner into the wall before the two exit to their fifth-floor apartment. Spitzner attempts to escape from Manvailer multiple times throughout the ordeal.
The video then cuts to the security camera outside the apartment building where Spitzner is seen falling to her death. Manvailer is caught on camera retrieving Spitzner’s dead body and dragging her back up to the couple’s apartment. While in the elevator, Manvailer looks at himself in the mirror and appears to wipe his wife’s blood off his face. He later returns to the elevator to wipe blood off the floor and walls.
Warning: The below footage shows graphic violence.
According to The New York Times, Manvailer was quickly apprehended by police and is currently being investigated for the murder of his wife. Manvailer denies killing Spitzner. He told police his wife jumped off the balcony, the Times reports.
The video has sparked a heated debate about domestic abuse and the treatment of women in Brazil. Many Brazilians have taken to social media using the hashtag #metaAcolher, which translates to “stick a spoon in.” The phrase references a popular Brazilian saying: “When it’s a fight between husband and wife, don’t stick a spoon in,” which suggests outsiders should not get involved in a couple’s issues.
According to a 2017 nationwide survey, nearly a third of Brazilian women reported they had experienced some sort of intimate partner violence ranging from beatings to attempted murder in the prior year.
“The video just reflects the levels of violence we have been documenting,” Brazil director for Human Rights Watch Maria Laura Canineu told The New York Times. “What Brazil has to learn is that most of these cases are preventable. It is very rare that a murder is the first case of violence.”
“It’s sad, but maybe something this brutal will wake people up to the reality of domestic abuse,” Canineu added. “Maybe it will mobilize them.”
Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.