By Contributing Reporter
SÃO PAULO, BRAZIL – Sex offenses grew 14 percent in the first quarter of 2019 in the state of São Paulo compared to the same period in the previous year, according to data obtained by GloboNews via the Access to Information Act.
In January, February and March of this year, there were 4.458 records of crimes against the sexual dignity compared to 3.903 in the very same months of 2018.
This means that one sex crime occurred every 29 minutes, on average. In the first quarter of 2019, according to the Department of Public Safety, 407 people have been arrested for rape.
Statutory rape was the most common: 1,776, followed by sexual harassment of 970 and rape of 902 victims.
There are also records of sexual misconduct, obscene acts, dissemination of rape scenes and images of nudity, sex or pornography, in addition to rape by deception.
As provided in article 217 of the Criminal Code, statutory rape is considered to be any lewd act, such as touching the genitals or sexual intercourse with children under the age of 14.
Above the age of 14, rape occurs when there has been no consent by the victim. The expected sentence is 8 to 15 years of imprisonment.
The law concerning sexual harassment came into force in September 2018, as such crimes listed in this law have only been accounted for in the 2019 first quarter survey.
Performing a libidinous act in the presence of someone and without their consent, inappropriately touching another or forcing a kiss fall under the crime of sexual harassment, according to the law.
Sexual misconduct differs from sexual harassment, which is based on a relationship of hierarchy and subordination between the victim and the aggressor.
In the evaluation of retired criminal lawyer and prosecutor Luiza Eluf, author of several books on sexual crimes, the increase in records may have been driven by the rise in cases of sexual harassment, given the fact that reports have become more common.
In her opinion, these may represent “empowerment of the victims, who have gained greater access to information on the subject over the past few years and are now going to police stations to report these occurrences.”