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Cien Saude Colet. 2013 Mar;18(3):691-700.

[Repercussions of the Maria da Penha law in tackling gender violence].

[Article in Portuguese]

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Escola de Enfermagem, Universidade Federal do Rio Grande do Sul. R. São Manoel 963, Rio Branco. 90620-110 Porto Alegre RS, Brazil.


This paper presents the declarations about the Maria da Penha law made by a sample of women victims and care workers who handle situations of gender violence in the city of Porto Alegre. The data are part of a study that investigated the critical path followed by women who decide to denounce violence. The statements were selected from 45 semi-structured interviews answered by 21 women and 25 professionals from the police, legal, social and health services and nongovernmental institutions. Data were analyzed using NVivo software and one of the categories selected was the Maria da Penha law. Most respondents mentioned the positive and innovatory aspects of the law, though they also pointed out its limitations. The care workers see the legal device as an important tool for tackling violence, aligned with international conventions, bringing innovations and broadening women's access to justice. In terms of weaknesses, both women and care workers stress the inefficiency in the implementation of protective measures, the lack of material resources and manpower, the fragmentation of the health care network and the movement of conservative sectors in society to delegitimize the law.

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