Two appeal court judges are in the spotlight this week for apparently condoning domestic violence when the victim is ‘an adulterous female’.
Quoting passages from the Bible, and citing cultures where adulterous women are stoned to death, judges Neto de Moura and Maria Luísa Abrantes ruled that “the adultery of a woman is a very serious attack on the honour and dignity of (her) man”.
Over 20 pages, the duo ‘demolished’ the woman who in 2014 cheated on her husband and then ended up physically assaulted by him after being held to account, against her will, by her former lover, reports Jornal de Notícias.
A lower court had previously heard the case and handed both men suspended jail terms. The Public Ministry appealed however, hoping for custodial sentences.
These will now not be forthcoming.
Indeed, the Porto appeal court duo stressed that “in the Bible, we can read that an adulterous woman should be punished with death”.
It’s a judgement that has sparked outrage over social media – many commentators complaining that it takes the whole issue of gender equality back to the Dark Ages.
The judges’ feeling however was that the lower court had appreciated all the details “well”, particularly in the context that the husband was acting while suffering from depression.
In other words, the judgement ‘sticks’, the aggressors walk free – albeit saddled with their initial fines and suspended jail terms – and any woman committing adultery within an established relationship and coming a cropper will now be painfully aware that judges may not be totally on her side.