The Maria da Penha Law (LMP), which was introduced in 2006, is the first Brazilian federal code to address domestic and familial violence against women. The law is the outcome of thirty years of struggles led by Brazilian women and feminist movements. LMP is an extensive legal instrument that is meant to prevent and combat domestic and familial violence against women.
In 2007, a consortium of organisations including research centres and NGOs from different regions of Brazil was formed with the goal of monitoring the implementation of LMP. This consortium is called the Observatory of Maria da Penha Law and is coordinated by the Nucleus for Interdisciplinary Women’s Studies at Federal University of Bahia el (NEIM/UFBA). The activities of the Observatory consist of raising awareness about the law, identifying challenges and successes in the implementation process, and compiling relevant information for women’s movements and public institutions that are responsible for policy making.
In this chapter, the author will map out the efforts undertaken by feminists and women’s movements, which have led to the introduction of LMP. And being a member of the observatory monitoring the implementation of LMP, the author will report and analyse preliminary findings from recent research undertaken by the Observatory.