Harrowing footage of man beating his wife before her violent death sparks outrage in Brazil
A disturbing video of a man beating his wife minutes before she was caught on camera plummeting to her death has sparked outrage in Brazil as well as heightened awareness of the country's rampant domestic abuse epidemic.
The difficult-to-watch surveillance footage show husband Luís Felipe Manvailer beating his wife, Tatiane Spitzner, as he forces her through their apartment building's parking garage and into an elevator. As Spitzner desperately attempts to flee his grasp, Manvailer holds her back until the elevator doors shut, sealing them inside.
About 20 minutes after the couple ascends to their fifth-floor apartment, Spitzner is caught on camera plummeting to her death onto the sidewalk below their balcony. Manvailer can then be seen dragging his wife's lifeless body back into the building's elevator and up to their apartment. He returns a short while later to wipe her blood from the elevator doors and mirrors.
WARNING: This video contains extremely graphic material. Viewer discretion is advised:
The New York Times reports that Manvailer was arrested shortly after the incident and is currently under investigation over his wife's death. When initially questioned, he allegedly denied foul play and told police that Spitzner jumped to her death and that he did not push or throw her off.
The footage of the brutal attack, which aired Sunday on the Brazilian news program "Fantástico," sparked the social media hashtag #metaAcolher, or "stick a spoon in," which is based off the Brazillian saying, "When it's a fight between husband and wife, don’t stick a spoon in."
Although the couple's neighbors allegedly listened to Spitzner's "desperate screams for help" for 20 minutes during the confrontation that ultimately led to her death, they did nothing to intervene.
"The video just reflects the levels of violence we have been documenting," Maria Laura Canineu, the Brazil director for Human Rights Watch, told the 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," she added. "Maybe it will mobilize them."