by Talita Nascimento
May 29th, 1983. It is almost midnight, the biopharmacist Maria da Penha Fernandes is sleeping when her husband shoots her, leaving her paraplegic for life. Marco Antônio Heredia Viveros, her husband, was an economist and professor at that time. They first met at the University of São Paulo (USP), one of the most renowned universities in Latin America, where both were graduate students. It was not the first time that Marco Antônio had physically assaulted Maria da Penha, but she kept silent about it. Four months after this episode, he tried to electrocute her, and Maria da Penha decided to finally break her silence.