Women and Justice: Keywords

Domestic Case Law

AA v. Fiscalía General de la Nación, Caso No. 327/2008 Tribunal Apelaciones Penal 1º Tº (First Criminal Appeals Court) (2008)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

The Trial Court of Tacuarembó sentenced AA to 12 months in prison for domestic violence, deemed as aggravated because the victim was a woman. AA and the victim had been living together in a common law marriage since 2000. In 2002 the victim reported on several occasions multiple instances of physical abuse and of psychological violence. In September 2003, the victim filed a complaint against AA for injuries inflicted to her neck and arm, which were verified by a public health doctor. The couple reconciled, but thereafter got separated again. On January 1, 2004 the victim was on her way to visit a friend when AA intercepted her on the street and forcibly grabbed her left arm while pressing a ring against her mouth until he broke her front tooth. Between December 2003 and January 2004 the victim had also reported several threats and aggressions from AA. AA appealed to the Appeals Court. The Court dismissed the appeal affirming the decision of the Trial Court and ruling that the 12-month sentence was appropriate considering the evidence presented and AA’s dangerous personality.

El tribunal de primera instancia de Tacuarembó condenó a AA a 12 meses de prisión por violencia doméstica, lo que se consideró agravado porque la víctima era una mujer. AA y la víctima habían estado viviendo juntas en un matrimonio de hecho desde 2000. En 2002, la víctima denunció en varias ocasiones múltiples casos de abuso físico y violencia psicológica. En septiembre de 2003, la víctima presentó una denuncia contra AA por las lesiones infligidas en su cuello y brazo, que fueron verificadas por un médico de salud pública. La pareja se reconcilió, pero luego se separaron nuevamente. El 1 de enero de 2004, la víctima se dirigía a visitar a una amiga cuando AA la interceptó en la calle y la agarró por la fuerza del brazo izquierdo mientras presionaba un anillo contra su boca hasta que le rompió el diente frontal. Entre diciembre de 2003 y enero de 2004, la víctima también había denunciado varias amenazas y agresiones de AA. AA apeló ante el Tribunal de Apelaciones. El Tribunal desestimó la apelación afirmando la decisión del Tribunal de Primera Instancia y resolvió que la sentencia de 12 meses era apropiada considerando las pruebas presentadas y la personalidad peligrosa de AA.



AA v. Fiscalía General de la Nación, Caso No. 413/2008 Tribunal Apelaciones Penal 2º Tº (Second Criminal Court of Appeals) (2008)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

The Trial Court sentenced the accused (AA) to 10 months with a suspended sentence for the crime of domestic violence against his wife (BB). AA intimidated and committed continuous acts of violence against BB. The Trial Court deemed the continuous and manipulative nature of this violence to be an aggravating circumstance. AA appealed, arguing that the Trial Court had improperly analyzed the evidence and that there was not enough evidence to convict him. The Appeals Court determined that the evidence on file should be analyzed in the context of the contentious relationship between AA and BB. While AA argued that BB had mental problems, the court found this argument a mere pretext to deflect attention away from his own misconduct. The facts of the case showed that BB supported the home and paid for AA’s expenses, which demonstrated that AA had interests in BB aside from affection. The doorman of the building where AA and BB lived testified that he once saw AA breaking things in a violent rampage. This  testimony contradicted AA’s statement that he was not destructive. The Appeals Court found that there was sufficient evidence in the record to demonstrate AA’s guilt and affirmed the decision of the Trial Court.

El Tribunal de Primera Instancia condenó al acusado (AA) a 10 meses con una sentencia suspendida por el delito de violencia doméstica contra su esposa (BB). AA intimidó y cometió actos continuos de violencia contra BB. El Tribunal de Primera Instancia consideró que la naturaleza continua y manipuladora de esta violencia era una circunstancia agravante. AA apeló, argumentando que el Tribunal de Primera Instancia había analizado incorrectamente las pruebas y que no había suficientes pruebas para condenarlo. El Tribunal de Apelaciones determinó que la evidencia en el archivo debe analizarse en el contexto de la relación entre AA y BB. Mientras AA argumentó que BB tenía problemas mentales, el tribunal consideró este argumento como un simple pretexto para desviar la atención de su propia mala conducta. Los hechos del caso mostraron que BB apoyaba la casa y pagaba los gastos de AA, lo que demuestra que AA tenía intereses en BB además de ser afectuoso. El portero del edificio donde vivían AA y BB testificó que una vez vio a AA rompiendo cosas en un violento alboroto. Este testimonio contradecía la declaración de AA de que no era destructivo. El Tribunal de Apelaciones determinó que había pruebas suficientes en el expediente para demostrar la culpabilidad de AA y afirmó la decisión del Tribunal de Primera Instancia.



AA v. Fiscalía General de la Nación, Caso No. 328/2011 Tribunal Apelaciones Penal 2º Tº (Second Criminal Appeals Court) (2011)

Sexual violence and rape

The Trial Court sentenced the 28-year-old accused (AA) to seven years and six months in prison for the crimes of rape, kidnapping and robbery. On March 27, 2011, AA approached the 18-year-old victim (BB) at a bus station and threatened her with a knife. BB offered him money, but AA put a knife to her throat and took her to a nearby field where he sexually assaulted her several times during the night, hit her repeatedly, and videotaped the sexual assault with his cellphone. AA then tied up BB and, before leaving her in the field, used BB’s cellphone to text her mother the location where BB could be found. He stole the cellphone and sold it at a fair. On July 22, 2011, AA was arrested. The police found in his possession a memory card with pornography and the video of BB’s rape. The Appeals Court dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of the Trial Court. The Appeals Court amended the qualification of the crimes to aggravated and rendered opinion that the sentence imposed by the Trial Court should have been more severe due to the proven dangerous nature of AA.

El Tribunal de Primera Instancia condenó al acusado (AA) de 28 años a siete años y seis meses de prisión por los delitos de violación, secuestro y robo. El 27 de marzo de 2011, AA se acercó a la víctima que tenía 18 años (BB) en una estación de autobuses y la amenazó con un cuchillo. BB le ofreció dinero, pero AA le puso un cuchillo en la garganta y la llevó a un campo cercano donde la agredió sexualmente varias veces durante la noche, la golpeó repetidamente y grabó en video la agresión sexual con su teléfono celular. AA luego ató a BB y, antes de dejarla en el campo, usó el teléfono celular de BB para enviarle un mensaje de texto a su madre sobre el lugar donde se podía encontrar a BB. Robó el teléfono celular y lo vendió en una feria. El 22 de julio de 2011, AA fue arrestado. La policía encontró en su poder una tarjeta de memoria con pornografía y el video de la violación de BB. El Tribunal de Apelaciones desestimó el recurso y confirmó la decisión del Tribunal de Primera Instancia. El Tribunal de Apelaciones modificó la calificación de los delitos a agravada y emitió una opinión de que la sentencia impuesta por el Tribunal de Primera Instancia debería haber sido más severa debido a la naturaleza peligrosa comprobada de AA.



AA v. Fiscalía General de la Nación, Caso No. 299/2010 Tribunal Apelaciones Penal 1º Tº (First Criminal Appeals Court) (2010)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

The Trial Court sentenced the accused (AA) to two years in prison for aggravated domestic violence.  The court considered the aggravating circumstances to be the accused’s recidivism and the use of his strength to overpower his female victim.  AA had a history of domestic violence against his wife (BB).  Even though he had repeatedly assaulted BB and stabbed her once, BB refused to file a complaint against him.  A family court judge imposed a restraining order against AA pursuant to which he could not get closer than 300 meters to BB and her children. However, BB on several occasions allowed AA back in her home and near the children.  On October 7, 2008, AA came over to BB’s house with the intention of moving back in, but when BB declined, AA locked her and her children in a room for two hours.  He did not physically assault them, but did threaten to kill them.  BB filed a complaint and AA was convicted of domestic violence.  AA appealed arguing that BB had subsequently withdrawn her criminal complaint against him, which constituted consent to his conduct. The Appeals Court determined that the victim’s withdrawal of her complaint was a consequence of “battered women’s syndrome,” and had no bearing on a criminal action.  The Appeals Court dismissed the appeal and affirmed the decision of the Trial Court.

El Tribunal de Primera Instancia condenó al acusado (AA) a dos años de prisión por violencia doméstica agravada. El Tribunal consideró que las circunstancias agravantes eran la reincidencia del acusado y el uso de su fuerza para dominar a su víctima femenina. AA tenía antecedentes previos de violencia doméstica contra su esposa (BB). Aunque había asaltado repetidamente a BB y la apuñaló una vez, BB se negó a presentar una queja contra él. Un juez de un tribunal de familia impuso una orden de restricción contra AA en virtud de la cual no podía acercarse más de 300 metros a BB y sus hijos. Sin embargo, BB en varias ocasiones permitió que AA regresara a su casa y estuviera cerca de los niños. El 7 de octubre del 2008, AA vino a la casa de BB con la intención de regresar, pero cuando BB declinó, AA la encerró a ella y a sus hijos en una habitación durante dos horas. No los agredió físicamente, pero amenazó con matarlos. BB presentó una queja y AA fue condenado por violencia doméstica. AA apeló argumentando que BB había retirado posteriormente su denuncia penal contra él, lo que constituía un consentimiento para su conducta. El Tribunal de Apelaciones determinó que la retirada de la denuncia de la víctima fue una consecuencia del "síndrome de las mujeres maltratadas" y no tenía relación con una acción penal. El Tribunal de Apelaciones desestimó el recurso y confirmó la decisión del Tribunal de Primera Instancia.



AA v. Fiscalía General de la Nación, Caso No. 359/2013 Tribunal Apelaciones Penal 1º Tº (First Criminal Appeals Court) (2013)

Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement

The Trial Court sentenced the accused (AA) to four years in prison for aggravated sexual abuse of a minor (BB). AA and the mother of BB had a common law marriage. AA had been sexually abusing BB since she was eight years old and started raping her when she turned 11.  At age 14, BB became pregnant as a result of rape committed by AA.  BB’s mother discovered AA’s abuse and filed the criminal complaint.  AA confessed to being the victim’s “lover.”  The court found aggravating circumstances including that AA had taken advantage of his domestic relationship with BB’s mother and that he had abused his victim during the night. AA’s confession constituted an attenuating circumstance, reducing the sentence imposed.  The Appeals Court dismissed AA’s appeal and affirmed the Trial Court’s decision, ruling that there was enough evidence presented to establish the facts of the case.

El Tribunal de Primera Instancia condenó al acusado (AA) a cuatro años de prisión por abuso sexual agravado de un menor (BB). AA y la madre de BB tenían un matrimonio común. AA había abusado sexualmente de BB desde que tenía ocho años y comenzó a violarla cuando cumplió los 11. A los 14 años, BB quedó embarazada como resultado de una violación cometida por AA. La madre de BB descubrió el abuso de AA y presentó esta denuncia penal. AA confesó ser el "amante" de la víctima. El tribunal encontró circunstancias agravantes, incluyendo que AA se había aprovechado de su relación doméstica con la madre de BB y que había abusado de su víctima generalmente durante las noches. La confesión de AA constituyó una circunstancia atenuante, reduciendo la sentencia impuesta. El Tribunal de Apelaciones desestimó la apelación de AA y confirmó la decisión del Tribunal de Primera Instancia, dictaminando que se presentaron suficientes pruebas para establecer los hechos del caso.



R. v. H. Supreme Court of Queensland (2002)

Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement, Trafficking in persons

The appellant advertised in Korea for families to come to Australia to attend a missionary school. The appellant was responsible for settling those families’ affairs, and they were dependent on him to organize the necessary extensions of visas. Most of the time, the parents spoke no English and their children spoke little English. The appellant organized accommodation for the parents of the complainant among other families, and at the same time he arranged for separate accommodation for their daughter with children of other families.  The accommodation for the daughter was close to the appellant’s house, but an hour’s drive from her parents’ house. The appellant was the only individual who had the keys to the children’s rooms. The appellant advised the father of the complainant to return to Korea to seek more families, and he did. One night, the appellant returned around 1:00 AM to the children’s accommodation and entered the complainant’s room where another girl was with her.  That girl left after certain remarks by the appellant.  The appellant took the complaint in his van to a remote place where he proceeded to touch her, took off her pyjamas, and then had sexual intercourse with her, despite her resistance.  During this resistance, they both fell to the floor of the van and the appellant injured his arm. The appellant threatened the complainant not to inform anyone about this incident, reminding her that her family needed him to renew their visas. The complainant immediately told her friends at the accommodation of the sexual assault. In the morning, the complainant walked to a public telephone where she called her father in Korea and told him about the incident, and then called her mother to inform her of the same. In fear with respect to their visas, the family went with the appellant to Brisbane where they had their visas renewed, acting as if nothing happened. Later, the father flew back to Australia and immediately lodged a complaint with the police. Through investigation, the police found physical evidence of rape, including injuries to her genitals consistent with rape, the appellant’s DNA, and wounds consistent with complainant’s statement of the rape.  Based on the evidence, the District Court sentenced the appellant to eight years for two counts of rape and one count of indecent dealing with a circumstance of aggravation. Relying on older cases, the appellant filed this appeal to lower his sentence, claiming it was too high for someone his age, considering he had no previous convictions and that there were no violence or weapon used. The Queensland Court of Appeal dismissed these arguments, stating that the older cases referenced by the appellant were dated before the implementation of new rules that increased the sentences for rape. In addition, even though no violence was used against the complainant, the court found that the appellant took advantage of her because of her visa situation, and this was an aggravating factor. Therefore, the appeal was dismissed.



The Queen v. Baptiste Supreme Court of Grenada and the West Indies Associated States (2013)

Sexual violence and rape

The defendant pled guilty to rape and holding a woman at knifepoint until she was able to fight him off and escape.  The defendant was before the court for sentencing.  The court began by observing that “over the past few years the courts have been disposed to sentence persons convicted of rape to terms of imprisonment of between 7-10 years.”  Here, the only mitigating factor was the defendant’s guilty plea.  The aggravating factors included physical and psychological harm, use of a weapon and violence, and prior convictions.  Considering these factors, the court sentenced the defendant to a term of eight years imprisonment.



Regina v. Cadoo Supreme Court of Grenada and the West Indies Associated States (2017)

Statutory rape or defilement

The defendant pled guilty to rape and was before the court for sentencing.  Both victims were young girls between the ages of 14 and 15 at the time of the offense.  The defendant raped the victims multiple times, and one of the victims became pregnant as a result.  In sentencing the defendant, the court observed that there were several aggravating factors:  the victims were minors and the defendant was 16 years their senior; the defendant was a relative and a person of trust; after one of the victims became pregnant, she sought help from the defendant but defendant again sexually assaulted her; and the offense occurred while the defendant was on bail.  The only mitigating factor was the defendant’s guilty plea.  Accordingly, the court sentenced defendant to 10 years imprisonment.



Regina v. Richards Supreme Court of Grenada and the West Indies Associated States (2017)

Gender-based violence in general, Statutory rape or defilement

The defendant pled guilty to wounding and causing grievous harm to an adult female after dragging her into the bushes and attacking her with a piece of wood and cutlass, leaving deep lacerations and abrasions.  The defendant also pled guilty to the rape and robbery of a 16-year-old female, which occurred just two days later.  The defendant was before the court for sentencing.  Analyzing the aggravating factors, the court observed that defendant had a criminal history, was not remorseful, preferred violence, and presented a danger to the community.  The court also recognized that the victims were not only physically hurt, but had “been severely traumatized by their experiences.” The only mitigating factor was the guilty plea.  Accordingly, the court sentenced the defendant to 14 years and three months imprisonment. 



Z.D.C. v. E.M.S. Rechtbank van eerste aanleg te Antwerpen (Court of First Instance in Antwerp) (2017)

Domestic and intimate partner violence, LGBTIQ

The two accused were prosecuted for invading the home of the two victims and assaulting them, which temporarily prevented the victims from being able to work. The first accused organized the crime because she could neither accept the breakup with one of the victims nor the fact that the victim was in a relationship with a man. Additionally, the first accused created a false Facebook profile to make fun of one victim’s sexual orientation and to convince one victim to break up with the other. The Court found that the motive of the crime was, among others, the sexual orientation of the victims, which is an aggravating circumstance of the assault. The Court found that the facts regarding the first accused had been clearly established. However, the interrogation and the investigation did not provide the court with enough evidence to hold the second accused criminally liable. The Court convicted the first accused and imposed a sentence of three years imprisonment and a fine of EUR 100.00 (increased with the multiplication factor of 50, i.e., in total EUR 5000), but suspended for five years if the accused complied with the terms of probation.



Public Prosecutor v. S.C. Rechtbank van eerste aanleg West-Vlaanderen afdeling Brugge sectie correctionele rechtbank (Bruges Criminal Court) (2018)

Gender-based violence in general, LGBTIQ

The accused was prosecuted for assaulting a trans woman and her partner for being transsexual. The accused confessed to calling the victim and her partner “dirty transsexuals” and assaulting them. Following the assault, a doctor determined that the victim was unable to work. The Court found that the facts were uncontested and therefore proven. According to the Court, the accused showed a lack of respect for social norms and the physical integrity of other human beings. Additionally, the Court found the punishment should reflect that the crime was based on the victim’s transsexual status and that the punishment should serve to have a strong deterrent effect. The court convicted the accused and imposed a sentence of  six months imprisonment and a fine of EUR 100.00 (increased with the multiplication factor of 50 (i.e., in total EUR 5000))which would be suspended during three years if the accused obeyed the terms of probation.



The State v. Iipinge High Court of Namibia (2018)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

The accused was convicted of culpable homicide for kicking his girlfriend to death, despite his claims that her death was caused by falling on a rock. In sentencing the accused to 10 years imprisonment, the court noted that violence against women is a serious problem in Namibia and that this should be taken into account in sentencing decisions as an aggravating factor.



RH 2006:29 Hovrätten för Västra Sverige (Court of Appeal for Western Sweden) (2006)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

The defendant had been released on probation after having been convicted of aggravated violation of a woman’s integrity (Sw. grov kvinnofridskränkning) against a woman with whom he had a relationship. While on probation, the defendant assaulted the woman in her residence by striking her in the face and throwing her to the ground. The defendant had also left a message on the woman’s voicemail, threatening to kill her. The Court of Appeal for Western Sweden found that the defendant was guilty of assault and unlawful threat. The question before the court then became whether the crimes should be reclassified as aggravated violation of a woman’s integrity. The court held that because the defendant had previously been convicted of aggravated violation of a woman’s integrity, and the assault had been committed six months after the defendant was released on probation, the assault and the unlawful threat were to be viewed as continued and repeated violations of the woman’s integrity, and thus reclassified as aggravated violation of a woman’s integrity.



RH 2006:29 Hovrätten för Västra Sverige (Court of Appeal for Western Sweden) (2006)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

The defendant had been released on probation after having been convicted of aggravated violation of a woman’s integrity (Sw. grov kvinnofridskränkning) against a woman with whom he had a relationship. While on probation, the defendant assaulted the woman in her residence by striking her in the face and throwing her to the ground. The defendant had also left a message on the woman’s voicemail, threatening to kill her. The Court of Appeal for Western Sweden found that the defendant was guilty of assault and unlawful threat. The question before the court then became whether the crimes should be reclassified as aggravated violation of a woman’s integrity. The court held that because the defendant had previously been convicted of aggravated violation of a woman’s integrity, and the assault had been committed six months after the defendant was released on probation, the assault and the unlawful threat were to be viewed as continued and repeated violations of the woman’s integrity, and thus reclassified as aggravated violation of a woman’s integrity.



NJA 2016 s. 819 Högsta domstolen (Supreme Court) (2016)

Sexual violence and rape

Two men were traveling in a car with a sleeping woman.  While the woman was still asleep, and under the influence of narcotics, the defendants raped her.  Both were convicted of rape.  One of the defendants appealed his conviction to the Supreme Court, which found that, because the defendant raped the woman and subsequently helped his co-defendant move the woman from the front to the back seat of the car for the purpose of raping her, he was properly convicted.  Swedish law classifies multiple acts of rape from multiple persons as aggravated rape.  Here, the defendants committed some of the acts together and the individual acts in succession, so the acts were viewed as aggravated rape.



RH 2003:11 Hovrätten för Västra Sverige (Court of Appeal for Western Sweden) (2003)

Domestic and intimate partner violence, Gender-based violence in general

L-G.T. assaulted his girlfriend, S.S., two times during the time they lived together. The District Court found that the acts were meant to cause a serious violation of S.S.’s integrity. The Court of Appeal held that the number of acts must be more than two in order to constitute a repeated violation of the integrity, but that if the acts of violence were severe, the number of repeated acts necessary for conviction may be reduced.  Because the court found that the assaults at issue in this case were not severe, the court did not find the defendant guilty of violating his girlfriend’s integrity (Sw. grov fridskränkning).



NJA 2008 s. 1010 Högsta domstolen (Supreme Court) (2008)

Domestic and intimate partner violence

T.H. was accused of assault and unlawfully threatening (Sw. olaga hot) his girlfriend, L.K. The alleged assault consisted of dragging her by the hair and pressing a knife against her throat, while threatening to kill her. T.H. also allegedly threatened to bomb L.K.’s apartment, and he told her that he would kill her if she called the police. The Supreme Court held that although the elements were present to establish an assault and the making of an unlawful threat, the defendant was not necessarily guilty of both crimes. According to the court, if an act is considered closely connected, and also subordinate, to another act, the defendant may be convicted of only one of the acts. The Supreme Court held that the threat was the more serious crime and that the assault could possibly elevate the unlawful threat to an “aggravated” threat, but the Supreme Court declined to do so in this case. Instead, the court convicted T.H. only of making an unlawful threat. Two Supreme Court judges dissented, arguing that the threat should have been classified as aggravated.



NJA 2005 s. 712 Högsta domstolen (Supreme Court) (2005)

Domestic and intimate partner violence, Sexual violence and rape

L.G. was accused of violation of a woman’s integrity (Sw. kvinnofridskränkning), assault (Sw. misshandel) and rape of his wife, C.G.  Because the couple’s three children were present when the alleged abuse occurred, L.G. was also charged with violation of their integrity.  The Supreme Court found that C.G.’s statements were more credible than L.G.’s, partly because the couple’s three children concurred with C.G.’s version of events.  Accordingly, due to L.G.’s repeated violation of C.G.’s integrity, the Supreme Court found L.G. guilty of violating C.G.’s integrity.  Regarding the rape charge, however, the Supreme Court did not find sufficient evidence to convict L.G.  Aside from C.G.’s testimony – which left doubt as to the time of the alleged rape – there was no evidence to substantiate the rape charge.  Therefore, the Supreme Court held that the prosecution failed to prove the rape charge beyond a reasonable doubt.  Nonetheless, because the court determined that L.G. had assaulting C.G. and their children, the court sentenced L.G. to two years and six months imprisonment.



Prosecutor’s Office v. Ćerim Novalić Sudom Bosne i Hercegovine (Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina) (2011)

Gender violence in conflict, Sexual violence and rape

In September 1992, during the Bosnian War, the Army of BiH attacked Serb houses in the village of Džepi.  During this assault, Ćerim Novalić and an unidentified soldier entered a home to see if the couple was hiding Serbs.  While the unidentified soldiers interrogated the husband about his neighbors of Serb ethnicity, Novalić forced the wife into an upstairs room and raped her.  In 2010, the Court of BiH found Novalić guilty of a War Crime against a Civilian under Article 173(1) of the CC BiH and sentenced him to seven years imprisonment.  The following year, a panel of the Appellate Division of the Court of BiH revised Novalić’s conviction, finding him guilty under Article 142(1) of the Criminal Code of the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, the law in effect at the time of Novalić’s crime.  The Appellate Panel considered the “extremely humiliating manner” in which Novalić raped the victim – her underage children and mother-in-law were in an adjacent room and her husband was downstairs – and increased his sentence to eight years and six months imprisonment.  This is the upper-end of the typical prison sentence mandated by the Court of BiH for one count of rape during the Bosnian War.

Second revised verdict available in English here.



Rex v. Lenyolosa High Court of Lesotho (2003)

Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement

The defendant was convicted for sexual assault and attempted rape of his 16-year-old niece. The appellate court upheld the conviction, but overturned the sentence imposed by the trial court. The appellate court held that the lower court failed to consider aggravating factors, including the close relationship between the parties. Given the prevalence of sexual assault in Lesotho, the court determined that jail sentences needed to serve as a deterrent for both the perpetrator and the general public.  According to the court, “a very loud and clear message must be sent to all those who consider themselves with power and right to abuse or rape girls and women, that they will be dealt with the seriousness their unlawful actions demand” (p. 5).  The Court sentenced the defendant to two years imprisonment with one year suspended for five years, unless the defendant commits another violent offense.



Rex v. Tauhali and Mashea High Court of Lesotho (1999)

Sexual violence and rape

Both of the accused were convicted of raping a 25-year-old woman when each took turns helping the other to rape the complainant. Two women who were with her tried to drive off the accused, but they threw rocks at the women and chased them off. The Court noted that the punishment for rape carries a maximum sentence of life imprisonment and a minimum sentence of five years imprisonment when there are no mitigating or aggravating factors. Aggravating factors include (1) violence in addition to the violence of the rape, (2) use of a weapon to intimidate or physically harm, and (3) repeated rape. The Court upheld the conviction and overturned the previous sentence of five years each to eight years, finding that gang rape calls for a higher sentence. In its discussion of the elements of rape, the Court noted that if one perpetrator held a woman down while another raped her, then the first would also be guilty of rape. In addition, in contradiction of international standards, the Court stated that women lack the necessary anatomy to commit rape and therefore can only be guilty of rape by assisting a male perpetrator. 



Republic v. Chiledzelere High Court of Malawi (2007)

Gender-based violence in general, Sexual violence and rape

The accused was convicted of attempted rape and sentenced to five years imprisonment with hard labor for accosting the complainant and assaulting her with the intent to have intercourse with her before he was prevented from doing so by the arrival of the witness. The appeal was dismissed because the accused's actions in fondling the complainant and tearing her underwear provided clear evidence of his intent.  The sentence was upheld because of the aggravating factors that the accused was told that the complainant was a married woman and the traumatic effect of the tearing of the woman's underwear.  [Note: International legal standards do not discriminate on the basis of marital status in determining the gravity of a rape.]



Legislation

Schweizerisches Strafgesetzbuch/Swiss Penal Code, Article 197: Aggravated Pornography (2019)

Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement

Provides for criminal penalties of imprisonment for not more than three years or a monetary penalty for, among other things, a person who recruits or causes a minor to participate in a pornographic performance, or for any person who produces, imports, stores, markets, advertises, exhibits, offers, shows, passes on or makes accessible to others or possesses pornography that contains sexual acts involving animals, acts of violence involving adults or non-genuine sexual acts with minors.  For pornography containing genuine sexual acts with minors, the penalty is imprisonment for not more than five years or a monetary penalty.  Criminal penalties are also provided for persons who obtain or produce such pornographic materials for their own use. Unofficial English translation available here.



Schweizerisches Strafgesetzbuch/Swiss Penal Code, Article 182: Trafficking in Human Beings (2019)

Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement, Trafficking in persons

Art. 182 provides for criminal penalties of imprisonment or a monetary penalty for any person who as a supplier, intermediary or customer engages in the trafficking of a human being for the purpose of sexual exploitation, exploitation of his or her labor or for the purpose of removing an organ. If the victim is a minor or if the offender acts for commercial gain, the penalty is imprisonment for not less than one year.  In every case, a monetary penalty must also be imposed.  The statute also provides that the soliciting of a person for these purposes is equivalent to trafficking, and that any person who commits the act abroad is also guilty of an offense. Unofficial English translation available here.



Código Penal (Penal Code) (2018)

Abortion and reproductive health rights, Domestic and intimate partner violence, Female genital mutilation or female genital cutting, Forced and early marriage, Gender-based violence in general, LGBTIQ, Sexual harassment, Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement, Trafficking in persons

Under section 142 (Crimes against people) of the Portuguese Penal Code, abortion is permitted if performed by a doctor and in the following scenarios: (1) risk of death or grave physical or mental harm to the mother; (2) the fetus is in risk of grave illness or malformation, up to the 24th week of pregnancy; (3) pregnancy was caused by rape or sexual assault, up to the 16th week of pregnancy; (4) by the mother’s choice, up to the 10th week of pregnancy. Article 118 provides that the statute of limitations on crimes of sexual violence and female genital mutilation against minors do not expire until the victim is at least 23 years old. Prostitution is not considered a crime in Portugal. However, the economic exploitation of prostitution by third parties is considered a crime under the Penal Code. A homicide that reveals “especial censurabilidade ou perversidade” (special censorship or perversity) is punishable with 12 – 25 years imprisonment. These special circumstances include a current or former spousal relationship between the perpetrator and victim, a sexual motive, and hate crimes including those based on sex, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity. Article 144a bans female genital mutilation and imposes a prison sentence of two to 18 years. Articles 154b, 159, and 160 ban forced marriage, slavery, and human trafficking, respectively. Article 163 bans sexual coercion, which carries a sentence of one to eight years for coercing a significant sexual act. Article 164 punishes “violação”, which is forcible intercourse, with imprisonment for one to six years.