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Almeida, São José

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Público - Portugal | 14/08/2010

Law barely protects Portugal's women

Sixteen women have been killed by their (ex-)husbands or partners In Portugal so far this year. São José Almeida expresses her outrage in the daily Público and has harsh words for the lax punishment meted out to the perpetrators: "It is extraordinary that we have so many laws on the protection of women, coupled with a prodigious social indifference as to whether or not they are implemented. That explains why despite the many lawsuits in the past decade only 59 men are currently serving out their sentences. ... Just as the role of women in society and their partnerships does not consist of 'passivity and the fulfilment of duties', so too can there be no talk of violence that is more or less bad. What is acceptable is the distinction between physical and mental violence, as well as lethal and non-lethal violence. There is no such thing as half freedom. Or to put it another way: there can be no freedom as long as women are de facto not allowed to live their lives for themselves as individuals."

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