Portugal makes harassing women in the street a crime

Portugal has made the harassment of people in the street illegal.

The Social Democratic Party in Portugal moved to criminalise verbal sexual abuse.

Those found guilty of the office can be fined up to €120, or can even be jailed for up to a year.


The change echoes legislation in countries like Peru and Belgium for street harassment.

Peru defines the harassment as that which impacts the freedom and dignity of movement or another person’s right to physical and moral integrity.

Maximum jail sentences of up to 12 years can be imposed in Peru, and Beligium in 2014 passed a law with similar punishments as Portugal.

The legislation means more general offences can’t be used to punish those who engage in the offence.


Portugal’s parliament last month overturned the presidential veto on a bill to legalise same-sex adoption there.

The new law had passed through Portugal’s Parliament last last year, granting full adoption rights to same-sex couples, and allowing lesbian couples to receive medically assisted fertilisation.

Portuguese President Anibal Cavaco Silva, of the centre-right Social Democratic Party, blocked the law just two months before he was set to leave office.

Despite the stall on the issue, many same-sex couples are already raising children together in Portugal under existing laws.

Since 2013, gay people have been permitted to adopt their partner’s children – while any individual, gay or straight, can legally adopt on their own.

Despite this, same-sex couples were explicitly banned from doing so as a couple in 2010.

Although the country is progressive on some LGBT issues, 81 percent of Portugal’s population is Catholic – and the powerful Catholic church remains staunchly opposed to same-sex parenting.