In a surprising verdict from judge Neto de Moura, of the court of Relação do Porto, an intermediate appeal court, he blasted the woman, a victim of domestic violence both practiced by her husband and her lover, in a long piece calling her an "adulteress" and "dishonest", even showing at some point comprehension for the abusers.

Abusers before the courts

It all started in 2014 when after ending the relationship with her lover, the woman received unwanted text messages and was stalked at her place of work by her ex-lover. The lover eventually told the whole story to her husband, and the couple separated. The husband then began sending her text messages with insults and death threats.

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This harassment continued for a while, until it culminated in the physical assault upon the victim, with a nail-spiked club. Her injuries were not life-threatening. The case was judged by a first court, Tribunal de Felgueiras, and both men were convicted with suspended sentences and small fines. Declaring the sentences too light the lawyers for the woman appealed to a higher court.

Appeal rejected

After reviewing the case, the judge Neto de Moura, rejected the appeal arguing that the actions of both men were the result of a "depressive state" that the situation put them in. He added in consideration to the woman, citing the Bible saying "We read in the Bible that an adulteress should be punished with death," and citing some cases of the Portuguese Penal Code of 1886, saying that at the time, a man who killed an adulteress woman, would only be punished by "little more than a symbolic sentence".

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Same judge has upheld similar decisions

This isn't the first time this judge has upheld similar decisions. In 2016, according to Jornal de Noticias, judge Neto de Moura reverted a two-year sentence by considering the testimony of the victim because she was an adulteress, was not credible. "A woman that commits adultery is a fake person, hypocrite, dishonest, disloyal, futile, immoral. In short, lacks moral probity," he wrote.

On another case back in 2013, according to Diario de Noticias, the same judge changed the degree of assault, from #Domestic Violence to a minor physical aggression, by considering "the fact that the accused hit the assistant with a fist on her nose that was slightly black on the side and having bitten on her hand (without apparent injuries) constitutes a simple offense to physical integrity that is far from being considered an abusive conduct likely to set up domestic violence".

Outrage over 'victim blaming'

The outrage surged in Portuguese society, with several criticisms directed at the judge from every institution and personality.

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At the lead is the Women’s Union for Alternative and Response (UMAR), which called this decision "revolting", and argued that it perpetuated the "ideology of victim-blaming” and it was against the country's constitution and rule of law, to evoke the Bible to support an argument, since Portugal is secular State. Other groups came forward strongly criticising this verdict, like the feminist movement Por Todas Nos (For All of Us Women), which called a protest in Lisbon, saying “Male chauvinism is not justice, but crime”.

Meanwhile, the victim's lawyer, issued a statement, saying the woman is "tired", and still undecided on whether she'll file action against the court and the judge. #Citing The Bible