Carlos Eduardo da Silva Zuma

Ashoka Fellow
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Fellow Since 2003


This profile was prepared when Carlos Eduardo da Silva Zuma was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2003.
The New Idea
Carlos is creating a way for families, judges, and psychologists to collaborate in addressing the epidemic problem of family violence in Brazil. In addition to the cultural obstacles that promote violence, there is the institutional problem that even when abusers are found guilty by the courts, they usually pay a token fine and return home. In severe cases, they may spend a few months seething in jail while the family loses the income of a breadwinner. Neither outcome attempts or achieves rehabilitation.
As a family psychologist, Carlos knows that rehabilitation is possible and that keeping families involved, rather than separating the abuser, works best. With a counseling method that he and other professionals have used effectively, Carlos is making it possible for the judges to refer family abusers for rehabilitation. This involves changing penal codes, sensitizing judges, and making sure that the groups succeed. Helping the courts deal more effectively with abuse is an important first step, and Carlos is planning ways to allow schools and employers to also tap into the rehabilitation process. Meanwhile, he is training more and more psychologists in the group therapeutic method to meet the rising demand.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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