Brazil saw an alarming rise in racial abuse, sexual assault, femicide and violence against women and LGBT people in 2018, according to new figures released on Tuesday. The data illustrates a country which became more bigoted and more polarised against the backdrop of last year’s incendiary election campaign and the increase in inflammatory rhetoric by the far-right president, Jair Bolsonaro, and his supporters, specialists said. “We are observing a rise in violence against women in all forms: aggression, femicide and rape,” said Samira Bueno, executive director of the Brazilian Public Security Forum, which published the figures using state and federal government data. Intentional violent deaths – which include homicides, robberies leading to death, deaths of police officers – fell by 10% in 2018 to 57,341. Murders of police officers also fell – from 373 to 343. But femicides rose by more than 4% to 1,206.