A Portuguese judge has triggered a row over sexism by suggesting that an abused women deserved to be punished because she had committed adultery.
Back in 2015, the victim was lured into a hostage situation by her former lover on the premise he wanted to reconcile their affair. But when she was in his clutches, he then called her ex-husband to confront her. The pair then beat up the woman, using a studded hammer to inflict blows.
Both men received a suspended sentence last week and it’s now emerged an appeal judge said this when considering the initial verdict:
“A woman’s adultery is a very serious attack on the honor and dignity of a man. Societies exist where an adulterous woman is stoned to death.
In the Bible, we can read that the adulterous woman should be punished by death. Not long ago the criminal law (Penal Code of 1886, article 372º) punished, with little more than a symbolic penalty, the man who, on finding his adulterous wife, killed her.”
Rights groups have widely criticised the ruling as evidence of widespread patriarchal and sexist attitudes in Portugal.
Frederico Moyano Marques from the Portuguese Association for Victim Support (APAV) told euronews: “Public and private organisations working in this area have invested heavily in order to make society itself less and less tolerant of this type of behaviour. Therefore, the same State that has made this very big investment, the same society that has made that investment, can not give the wrong or opposite sign. We are not talking about a citizen who, over a coffee table, makes these kind of statements. We are talking about the exercise of a jurisdictional power, an organ of sovereignty with all its impact.”
Other women’s rights groups have called for the judge to be disbarred, They say although such lenient sentences aren’t common, this is not an isolated case.