Women and Justice: Keywords

Domestic Case Law

Decisión nº 002-16 de Corte de Apelaciones de Violencia contra la Mujer (Número de Expediente: CA-1708-14VCM) Corte de Apelaciones de Violencia contra la Mujer (Court of Appeals for Violence Against Women) (2016)

Sexual violence and rape, Trafficking in persons

The defendant was convicted for the crimes of human trafficking and association to commit crimes on May 15, 2014 in the state of Nueva Esparta.  In its decision, the lower court said that in cases of rape and trafficking of persons, anyone who has been accused of having a relationship or knowledge of such crime could be deprived of liberty during trial, if it is deemed appropriate by the authorities.  In the defendant’s case, he was accused of seducing and luring the female victim into the island of Margarita, where she was subjected, tortured, drugged, and raped.  The defendant appealed the decision, alleging that it violated his right to be judged in freedom.  The Court of Appeal for Violence Against Women on January 8, 2016 dismissed the appeal action and ratified the decision of the lower court and determined that the apprehension of the accused before his conviction did not represent a violation of the law.  The appellate court ratified the criteria of the lower court according to which those defendants who are linked to the act of people trafficking and gender violence can be arrested before issuing a conviction decision, if deemed appropriate by the authorities. 

Sentencia nº 226 de Tribunal Supremo de Justicia (Número de Expediente: C07-0187) Tribunal Supremo de Justicia - Sala de Casación (Venezuela Supreme Court of Justice - Appeal Chamber) (2007)

International law, Sexual violence and rape

In 2001, the female victim was kidnapped, tortured, raped and kept in captivity for four months.  All complaints made by her sister to the competent authorities related to her sister’s disappearance were dismissed by the police.  In 2007, the competent criminal court issued a partial conviction to the offender.  He was convicted for the crimes of kidnapping and captivity.  However, the acts of physical, verbal, psychological and sexual violence were not considered by the court because, according to the court, there was not enough evidence to determine that sex and violence were committed without the plaintiff’s consent.  Between 2001 and 2007 the victim went through many judicial processes. Decision No. C07-0187 was the final decision issued by Venezuelan Supreme Court of Justice, as the court of last recourse in Venezuela.  After having exhausted all national procedures, the complainant referred her case to the international courts in order to sue the Venezuelan state for failing to safeguard and protect her human rights.  On March 6, 2018 the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights found the Venezuelan state responsible for the violation of the rights established in the Inter-American Convention to Prevent and Punish Torture.


Code of Virginia: Rape (Va. Code § 18.2-61)

Domestic and intimate partner violence, Sexual violence and rape, Statutory rape or defilement

This Virginia law defines rape as sexual intercourse with a complaining witness, or causing a complaining witness to engage in sexual intercourse with any other person, regardless of the existence of a spousal relationship and such act is accomplished (i) against the complaining witness's will, by force, threat or intimidation of or against the complaining witness or another person; or (ii) through the use of the complaining witness's mental incapacity or physical helplessness; or (iii) with a child under age 13 as the victim.