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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Brazil May Re-Define Sexual Assault to Include Attacks Against "Unchaste" Woman

BrazilThe San Fransisco Chronicle reports that Brazil's sexual assault laws, written in the '40s, limit  their application to assaults against "honest women."  The term "honest women" is defined to include only unmarried virgins or another man's wife.  The implication of these laws "was that only those women deserved protection, whereas the others deserved what they got. Judges ruled accordingly, dismissing the complaints of 'unchaste' women  --  those who dared have sex outside marriage  --  and exonerating their attackers. The men, the thinking went, must have been provoked or somehow ensnared by the brazen women."

With many Brazilians realizing that these laws are wrong, legislation is now pending in the Brazilian Congress to change such mysoginistic distinctions in the sexual assault laws.  To read the story, click here.  [Mark Godsey]

http://lawprofessors.typepad.com/crimprof_blog/2004/12/brazil_story.html

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