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Brazil: State of Rio de Janeiro Enacts New Law for the Support of Victims of Rape

(July 11, 2018) The State of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, has enacted a Law to create a program for the support of victims of rape in the state. According to article 2(§ 1) of Law No. 8,007 of June 26, 2018, the testimony of the female victim and the information collected in the health unit that provides initial care are sufficient to initiate a police investigation. (Lei No. 8.007, de 26 de Junho de 2018, Legislative Assembly of Rio de Janeiro website.) From now on, the investigation of a case will start from the moment of the victim’s complaint. (Felipe Rebouças, Vítimas de Estupro Terão Programa de Atenção, O DIA (July 3, 2018).)

The program must be implemented in all police stations, including the Specialized Police Stations for the Care of Women (Delegacias Especializadas de Atendimento à Mulher, DEAM), the Police Station for the Protection of the Adolescent (Delegacia de Proteção do Adolescente, DPCA), the Police Station for Child and Adolescent Victims (Delegacia da Criança e do Adolescente Vítima, DCAV), and the Legal Medical Institute (Instituto Médico Legal, IML), in a joint action with the Integrated Centers for Assistance to Women (Centros Integrados de Atendimento à Mulher, CIAM) and with the Reference Centers for Assistance to Women in the State of Rio de Janeiro (Centros de Referência de Atendimento à Mulher do Estado do Rio de Janeiro). (Lei No. 8,007, art. 1(§ 1).)

Whenever possible, the female victim is to be examined by a female doctor (legista), except in the case of a minor who is female, who must be examined by a female doctor. (Id. art. 1(§ 3).) Every step must be preceded by an interview during which the female victim must be heard and oriented regarding police procedures, what will be done at each stage of care, and the importance of multiprofessional medical care. The victim’s decision regarding the performance of any procedure must be respected. (Id. art. 2(§ 2).) In all stages of care, the principles of respect for the dignity of the person, nondiscrimination, confidentiality, and privacy must be observed. (Id. art. 2(§ 3).)

In the case of violence against children or adolescents, the guidelines set forth in the Statute of Children and Adolescents (Estatuto da Criança e do Adolescente, Lei No. 8.069, de 13 de Julho de 1990, Presidency of the Republic website) must also be observed. (Id. art. 3.)