SAO PAULO, Brazil -- Her right hand in a plaster cast, Josefa Gomes de Souza nervously recounted to a police chief how her husband, Adao Gomes Silva, in a rage threw her against a wall of their wooden shanty here.
In another room, Mr. Silva, a steel worker, stared sullenly at the floor and gave a differing version: "She doesn't have a scar on her body. She caught her thumb in the door."
Traditionally, wife battery rarely reaches Brazilian police stations, and more rarely, Brazilian courts.
But on a recent afternoon, Mr. Silva sat on a bench at a women's police station here, glumly facing the prospect of having to defend himself against criminal charges of assault.