São Paulo March celebrates 20 years of ‘Breaking the Silence’

São Paulo March celebrates 20 years of ‘Breaking the Silence’

With messages calling on people to fight violence against women, children and the elderly, and armed with thousands of white balloons, about 10,000 people gathered on Avenida Paulista in São Paulo, Brazil, on August 27, 2022, to seek a peaceful solution to the conflict. promote conflict. The march marked the 20th anniversary of Breaking the Silence, an initiative of Seventh-day Adventists in the eight countries that make up the South American Division region.

The aim was to make the population aware of combating and preventing domestic violence and especially psychological abuse of vulnerable people, according to church organizers.

Telma Brenha, director of women’s ministries in São Paulo State, coordinated the demonstration and emphasized its educational purpose. “This year we wanted to celebrate the initiative’s 20th anniversary differently,” she says. “Thanks to this march, many were able to understand how Breaking the Silence works. They have learned that they can break their silence and say no to violence.”


On behalf of new generations

Members of Pathfinder and Adventurer clubs took part in the rally. “We work together with the new generations. It was very important to see children and young people join us as we can teach them from an early age about the topics highlighted in the project,” said Brenha.

For 10-year-old adventurer Murillo Santos, participating was enlightening. “I have learned that violence is bad for everyone. I want to become an adult who does not use violence,” he said.

The march covered nearly a mile (1.5 kilometers) along a downtown avenue and ended with a short ceremony of thanks and appreciation to the participants, a song and the release of thousands of white balloons as a symbol of peace.

psychological violence

Each year, Breaking the Silence addresses a different issue related to violence. In 2022, the focus was on psychological violence. Surveys by various health and safety agencies show that psychological violence is the most common form of abuse and in many cases leads to other forms of aggression. It is present in homes and academic and work environments, in the form of insults, blackmail and threats. Because it is not a physical act, this type of aggression is often hidden and under-reported to security services. However, it is considered a crime in several countries given its potential to harm the victim.

Included in the official calendar of São Paulo

Breaking the Silence takes place in the eight countries that make up the South American division of the Adventist Church: Argentina, Brazil, Bolivia, Chile, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru and Uruguay. While initiatives take place throughout the year, the emphasis is on the fourth Saturday in August each year.

In October 2019, the Breaking the Silence initiative was approved to be included in the official calendar of the State of São Paulo, according to State Law 17.186/2019.

The original version of this story was posted on the Portuguese of the South American Division news site.


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