NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2021, Book 2

Law

A LOOK AT DOMESTIC AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN PORTUGAL: FROM LAW TO DISCOURSES

Assist. Prof. Jacqueline Marques

ABSTRACT

Despite legislative advancements, domestic violence is still today a crime considered as "minor" by many, or often the actions that materialise it are not even recognised. The first steps in Portuguese legislation were taken by the Penal Code approved in 1982, which typified the crime of ill-treatment between spouses, and by the Law n. º 61/91 of 13th of August, which guaranteed “adequate protection to women victims of violence”. However, only in 2007, was the crime of Domestic Violence created, which shows, from 1982 until then, a long path of hesitations and slow social evolution concerning the consciousness of this crime’s seriousness. Until 2007, the crime of spousal abuse was integrated in a broader criminal arrangement, characterised by the abuse of persons. In 2009, with the typification of the crime of Domestic Violence and with the publication of the legal regime applicable to the prevention, protection, and assistance of victims, denominated as Law of Domestic Violence, a more consolidated phase was inaugurated, in both legal treatment and social intervention. Despite these evolutions, Portugal continues to witness an attitude of "social and collective consent" to some forms of Domestic Violence, oftentimes disguised in the acceptance and normalisation of gender inequalities. We have seen news stories where judgements are presented, within the scope of Domestic Violence cases, where discriminatory ideas against women and excuses for the crime of Domestic Violence are manifested. This is proof that some of the representatives of justice (the judges) do not accept what has already been legally approved in the Portuguese legal system. Similarly, recent studies on the population’s perception of domestic and gender-based violence show the abiding ideas and understandings of acceptance and normalisation of domestic and gender-based violence in Portuguese society. We intend to present the evolution of the typification of the crime of domestic violence in Portugal. Then, we intend to understand how this phenomenon has been perceived in Portuguese society. Therefore, we will be able to understand the continuities and ruptures between the legislative body and the social body in what concerns Domestic Violence and Violence against Women in Portugal.

KEYWORDS

domestic violence; violence against women; social perception of violence; judgments on domestic violence

REFERENCE

NORDSCI Conference proceedings 2021, Book 2, Conference Proceedings, ISSN 2603-4108, ISBN 978-619-7495-14-1, A LOOK AT DOMESTIC AND GENDER-BASED VIOLENCE IN PORTUGAL: FROM LAW TO DISCOURSES, 245-253 pp, DOI paper 10.32008/NORDSCI2021/B2/V4/21