The Applicant, Maria da Penha Fernandes, brought this case to the Inter-American Commission, arguing that Brazil effectively condoned violence against women through ineffective judicial and prosecutorial action. The Applicant was shot in the back by her husband while she was sleeping. She survived, but was paralyzed from the waist down. Her husband received a sentence of two years in prison after 19 years of trial. The Inter-American Commission found that the delays and the lack of protections in Brazil for domestic violence survivors amounted to violations of da Penha's human right to live free from violence and to access justice.
Maria da Penha Fernandes v. Brazil