Women and Justice: Keywords


Penal Code 2014: Lei nº 35/2014 (2014)

Abortion and reproductive health rights, Domestic and intimate partner violence, Sexual violence and rape

The Code defines certain crimes and their penalties. The Code includes provisions defining and prohibiting sexual assault and domestic violence. The Code legalizes abortions performed within 12 weeks of gestation. The Code also eliminates attenuating circumstances previously associated with the crime of rape, such as the possibility of acquittal in cases where the perpetrator married the victim. In addition, the Code decriminalizes prostitution.

Sexual Offences Act (1998)

Sexual harassment, Sexual violence and rape, Trafficking in persons

The Sexual Offences Act recognizes in its preamble that women are particularly vulnerable to becoming victims of sexual offences, particularly adult prostitution. The Act prohibits prostitution, the operation of brothels, and other activities related to prostitution and brothel-keeping.

Seksuele Oortredings Wet (1998)

Seksuele teistering, Seksuele geweld en verkragting, Mensehandel​

Die Seksuele Oortredings Wet erken in die aanhef dat vrouens veral kwesbaar is om slagoffers te word vir seksuele misdrywe, veral volwassenes prostitusie. Die Wet verbied prostitusie, die bedryf van bordele, en ander aktiwiteite wat verband hou met prostitusie en bordeelhouding.

Domestic Case Law

U.S. v. Robinson United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit (2012)

Statutory rape or defilement, Trafficking in persons

A federal grand jury convicted the defendant-appellant of child sex trafficking in violation of 18 U.S.C. A minor victim testified that she started dating the defendant when she was 17 years old but had told him and others that she was 19 years old. She insisted that the defendant was only living off her income as a prostitute and was not a pimp facilitating prostitution.  However, the prosecution introduced videotaped statements in which the defendant repeatedly implored Doe to make money for him and threatened her when she failed to deliver the money. Following a jury trial, the defendant was convicted of two counts of sex trafficking of a minor. On appeal, the Second Circuit considered the construction of 18 U.S.C. § 1591(c), an evidentiary provision added by the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (“TVPRA”), which provides that “[i]n a prosecution . . . in which the defendant had a reasonable opportunity to observe [the victim], the Government need not prove that the defendant knew that the person had not attained the age of 18 years.” The Second Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court, holding that this provision imposes strict liability with regard to the defendant’s awareness of the victim’s age and relieves the government’s usual burden to prove knowledge or reckless disregard of the victim’s underage status under § 1591(a). The Second Circuit rejected the defendant’s challenges to this provision as lacking merit and affirmed the judgment of the district court.