Costa Rica Coffee Guide

New laws protect physical and verbal abuse against women

February 16, 2011

The Legislative Assembly voted earlier this week to approve jail sentences for men who physically and verbally abuse their female partners. Aggressors can now receive anywhere from six months to two years in prison for offending a woman with words, which is classified as an offense against dignity.

Offenders also can be punished from three months to a year for the physically abuse a female. If the victim is unable to work as a result of physical abuse, the sentence could be increased to two years.

Both of these crimes were introduced in the Law Criminalizing Domestic Violence, which was approved in 2007. But these two particular offenses were declared unconstitutional by the Constitutional Chamber of the Supreme Court in 2008. The law was approved by a vote of 41 to 3 in the Legislative Assembly on Monday.

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