Lei Maria da Penha
Brazil's Federal Law 11340, also called Lei Maria da Penha (Portuguese: [ˈlej mɐˈɾi.ɐ dɐ ˈpẽɲɐ], Maria da Penha Law) was put in place with the intent of reducing domestic violence. It was sanctioned on August 7, 2006 by the President, Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva (2006-2010). Among the changes initiated by the law was an increase in punishment for those who practice domestic violence towards women. The law was put into practice on September 22, 2006; the first offender was arrested in Rio de Janeiro the next day, after trying to strangle his ex-wife.
The name of the law is a tribute to Maria da Penha Maia, a woman whose ex-husband attempted to murder her twice, causing her to become paraplegic. Today she is a notable figure in the movement for women's rights in Brazil.
This law states that aggressors are no longer to be punished with alternative sentences, increases the maximum sentence from one to three years, and also provides for measures ranging from removing the abuser from the home, to banning them from the proximity of the women and children attacked.
This law is also notable for being the first Brazilian federal law that includes the term "sexual orientation": it says that "all women, regardless of ... sexual orientation ..., have the fundamental human rights."
- "Brazil Enacts Law on Violence against Women" (Press release). UNIFEM. August 9, 2006. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
- "Lei Maria da Penha". PCADV. Retrieved 2008-04-15.
- "Maria da Penha Law is also applied to protect a man". JusBrasil. October 31, 2008. Retrieved 2012-04-28.
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