Facing Domestic Violence Against Women in Brazil: Advances and Challenges
This article aims to offer a critical overview of the Brazilian legal framework for confronting domestic violence against women. Intimate partner homicides are epidemic in Brazil: there are four deaths of women per day. In 2006, the Maria da Penha Law (MPL) introduced integrated polices and transformed criminal procedures to deal with the complexities of gender violence. Reforms included the establishment of The House of Brazilian Women, women-only police stations, specialised courts, intervention orders, interdisciplinary experts, and perpetrator programs. In 2015, a new law created the crime of femicide, designed to prevent ‘honor killings’ defenses in cases of intimate partner homicide and to avoid impunity. Despite law reform, structuring and articulating the network of services remains a challenge. The MPL led to great social change in Brazil regarding awareness of the violence against women, facilitating a broader discussion about gender equality.
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