Law against violence against women may be applied to transgenders in Brazil

Jasjot Singh

According to a recent decision by the Superior Court of Justice, a law that protects women who suffer domestic violence in Brazil may also be applied to transgender men who identify as women.

On March 5, the sixth of the Superior Court of Justice of Brazil, responsible for standardizing the interpretation of federal law throughout the country, decided that the “Maria da Penha Law”, which protects women victims of domestic and family violence , can also be applied to men who identify as women.

The decision was made based on the analysis of the case of a man who identified himself as a woman and who was assaulted by his father, who did not accept that his son identifies with the opposite sex to his biological sex.

The Public Ministry filed an appeal to the Superior Court of Justice against a decision of the Sao Paulo justice, which opposed the application of the Maria da Penha Law to the case of assault of the man identified as a woman, who had requested this measure.

After analyzing the appeal, the ministers unanimously decided that Article 5 of the Maria da Penha Law be applied to the aforementioned case.

The article states that “domestic and family violence against women constitutes any action or omission based on gender, which causes death, injury, physical, sexual or psychological suffering and moral or patrimonial damage.”

For Minister Rogério Schietti, rapporteur of the case, the decision was made taking into account the number of murders of people who identify with the opposite sex to which they were born. “I state that last year there were 140 murders,” he said.

“The data is worrying because it reflects a predominant behavior that does not accept identities other than those that our culture and training led us to define, even for religious reasons, as identities related solely to sex, a biological characteristic,” he said.

“What is being discussed is that the possibility of a law that came to protect women can also cover those who define themselves, identify themselves” as women, he concluded.

Translated and adapted by Cynthia Pérez. Originally published on ACI Digital.

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