By Xiu Ying, Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – President Jair Bolsonaro sanctioned amendments to the Maria da Penha Law of August 7th, 2006. The new version allows for emergency protective measures for women or their dependants in situations of domestic and family violence.
The alteration was published in the Official Gazette of the Union this Tuesday, 14th, and was also signed by the Minister of Women, Family and Human Rights, Damares Alves. Senator Leila Barros (PSB-DF) proposed the bill.
According to the text, “if there is a current or imminent risk to the life or physical integrity of a woman in a situation of domestic and family violence, or of her dependents, the aggressor will be immediately removed from the home, domicile or place of cohabitation”.
This measure may be adopted by the judge; by the police deputy, whenever the municipality is not the seat of the district; or by the police officer, whenever there is no deputy available at the time of the report.
The changes in the law ensure greater celerity in cases of violence against women. In the event that the protective measure is not adopted by the judicial authority, the judge shall be notified within a maximum period of twenty-four hours and shall have the same time to “maintain or revoke” the decision.
“In cases of risk to the physical integrity of the victim or to the effectiveness of the protective measure of urgency, the prisoner shall not be granted a provisional release.
According to the text, “the emergency protective measures will be registered in a database maintained and regulated by the National Council of Justice, guaranteeing access by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, the Public Defender’s Office and public security and social assistance agencies, with the aim of monitoring and ensuring the effectiveness of protective measures”.
At least one Million Cases of Violence Awaiting Trial
At least one million cases of violence against women await trial by the Brazilian judiciary.
Last year, the country’s courts recorded 1,009,165 cases of this type pending decision, an increase of 7 percent in relation to the previous year, when the National Council of Justice accounted for 946,541 cases. The survey was carried out by CNJ.
The number of cases related to feminicide without trial also increased in the period: from 4,209 in 2017 to 4,461 in 2018. The number of sentences determining the application of protective measures increased from 291,746 to 339,216 in two years.
In absolute numbers, the São Paulo Court of Justice reported the most pending cases of violence against women last year: 207,668. São Paulo’s courts were also responsible for the highest number of protective measures: 90,092 in 2018.
In contrast, the court in Minas Gerais holds the highest number of actions on feminicide in the country: 1,534.