A man attacked his ex-wife with a baseball bat with nails in it, because she allegedly committed adultery.
The Portuguese court gave the man a 15-month suspended sentence with a $2,000 fine and people were furious.
The man attacked his ex-wife in 2015, in the street, leaving her with cuts and bruises, according to the Washington Post. The prosecutor asked an appeals court to sentence the man with three years and six months of jail time, arguing the original sentence was too soft.
The the Court of Appeal in Porto, Portugal, denied the request, according to ABC News, saying they understood the position of the assailant. The court, in their written ruling, said a woman’s adultery is “a very serious offense against a man’s honor and dignity.”
The court cited the Bible as a factor in their decision, referencing that in the Bible an adulterous woman is punished by death.
The court also used an 1886 Portuguese law in their decision. The law only gave symbolic sentences to men who killed their wives for suspected adultery, according to Fox News.
Multiple human rights groups spoke out against this decision. The Women’s Alternative and Response Union spoke against this decision, saying the court normalized violence against women and blamed the victim for the assault.
While the U.S. has the separation of church and state listed on the Constitution, Portugal has something similar listed in their 1976 constitution, according to constituteproject.org.
However, the country is still extremely Catholic at its core. Reuters reported that the ultra-Orthodox patriarchy that thrived during the dictatorship of Antonio Salazar, whose rule ended in 1974, still exists in parts of the country.
The Women’s Alternative and Response Union spoke out against the court, saying this decision did not adhere to the separation of church, and state and the Bible had no place in the courtroom.
The Women’s Alternative and Response Union planned protests in Portugal on Oct. 27 to speak out against the court‘s decision.