The brutal beating of Taísa Silva, a Brazilian transgender woman would have been regulated to back page news and offbeat blogs if not for her cisgender sister Luciana. A video recorded by bystanders of her defending her unconscious sister against three young ‘men’ and shared on social media went viral making it impossible for law enforcement to ignore.
Sharing on social media is powerful, but only when the volume if turned up to blast. I’m not saying all of the people who shared the video had good intent. No, far from that, but some did and this is the power that we have. Please share this and other posts and exercise the power you posses to help end the slaughter of Brazilian transgender woman.
Taísa is at her sister’s house, recovering from the injuries but According to Luciana, the family is still shaken by the attack.
“Thank God I’m better, but my sister is in my home, recovering. She’s still very sore, swollen” explains Luciana, who had minor injuries. Taísa had a fractured face and injuries throughout the body, including the shoulder, arms and legs.
Luciana said that they were returning from a party in the Palmares neighborhood, in the West side of Rio, around 6 am. They were offered a ride home to Santa Cruz so they entered the van. Soon after they got in Taísa Silva was slandered with transphobic slurs by one of the boys, identified by the Civil Police of Rio as Rodrigo Luiz Silva Soares.
We entered the van and the three boys were already there. When we sat down, that boy (Rodrigo) joked about my sister. He called her “veado” (something like “faggot”) and began the wisecracks – says Luciana. Also according to her, the other boys who were later identified as Jorge Ignacio Batista and Cleiton da Silva also offended Taísa. My sister responded and thus began the discussion. It all started with two of them. Then the third, who was sleeping, woke up and got involved in the verbal assault.
Luciana says that the boys became angry when Thaisa began to rebut the slurs, which led to the exchange of physical assaults still inside the van.
With the van still moving they started beating her (Taísa Silva). Then she went over them to defend herself. Next, they jumped out of the van and he (Rodrigo) stabbed her in her arm. She threw herself on the ground, picked up the knife that had fallen and cut Rodrigo. He was furious and the other two left the van were too. “My sister tried to run” said Luciana who tried to unsuccessfully calm down the group. “They did not listen to me” she said. “They said they would kill her. Then, Jorge kicked Taísa), who fell, hitting with her head on the asphalt and lost unconscious.
In a nearly unheard of action, local police posted the widely shared video of the attack on their facebook page asking for witnesses.
Luciana tried to defend her sister from the attack, but ended up being beaten also.
“I was getting in front of them all the time, asking for the love of God for them to stop, that there was no need of that. But they came and beat me too. They told me to leave because they wanted to kill her” says Luciana.
She believes that the boys were drunk. They both were saved by witnesses who in the following confusion, sent the boys away.
Some folks who were at a bus stop manage to hold them. They saw that the situation was going to be critical and left.
After the attack, Luciana says she had the help of a mototaxi driver who took them to a local hospital, where they received medical care.
Their mother learned of the attack the next day, when she saw the video of the attack on a social network.
My mother cried, got nervous, but thanked God for my sister’s life. When one sees the video, it was for her to be dead today.
According to Luciana, Taísa had already been a victim of transphobic slurs, but never so close to home in Santa Cruz, so the case was more shocking.
“There have been cases of violence, but they are not common here. But every once in a while, she comes across some bigots.” said Luciana.
Earlier on Wednesday Sept 13th, the three accused of assaulting Taísa and Luciana were arrested. They will respond for the crime of attempted murder.
The three aggressors were identified based on collected evidences. The court accepted the request for temporary detention of the accused. At the police station, they confessed the aggression.