No to Domestic Violence
Violence against women is not only limited to physical abuse. It involves sexual, psychological, and economic abuses as well. Know your rights, his limitations, and when to call the police
BY ROLLY CERERA
I honestly believe in the equality of men and women, but sometimes, based on experience, women would have their own way of overpowering men. Twice I saw myself packing my things and stuff as my wife ordered me to skedaddle.
I would often hear naïve individuals clamoring about equality – “There is nothing men can do that women can’t.” My imagination ran amok, and in a bubble on top of my head I saw LeBron James playing one-on-one with Candace Parker and Maya Moore – both eaten alive.
Why would sports then be categorized by gender if they were “so they say” equal? Feminists would always have their unrelenting arguments, but it would be foolish to conclude that men and women are alike in physical strength.
In 2012, The Philippine Star reported that the number of domestic violence continued to increase with 12,948 cases of physical abuse recorded from January to August, based on the Department of Social Welfare and Development statement.
It added that, “A significant increase in cases was already observed in 2011 when 15,104 incidents recorded compared to only 9,485 cases in 2010, as reported by the Philippine National Police’s Women and Children Protection Center.”
Violence against women
Laws are passed to ensure the safety of women. The United Nations recognize the alarming violence bestowed upon women all over the world – its called Violence Against Women, generally this is a hate crime whereby acts of violence are committed against a woman because of her gender and fragile nature.
Locally, we have a law enacted in 2004 seeking to address the prevalence of violence against women and children. Now this should not be mistaken with the UN law, they may have the same words but the intent of the law does not revolve around discrimination rather it is a means to protect women and children.
It is almost often misconstrued that Republic Act 9262, Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 or famously known as the VAWC (commonly pronounced as vaw-cee) law is applied to all women – No.
The law refers to any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom he has a common child, or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the family abode, which result in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.
The predominant factor of this law is the relationship of the man with a woman and his or her children. It is also important to note that there are types of abuse this law defines – physical, sexual, psychological, and economic.
Physical violence is pretty much straightforward. So if Tarzan inflicts any form of bodily harm on Jane, then he might as well head back to the jungle and mingle with the apes else he may be imprisoned, based on the degree of the physical harm inflicted, to a maximum of six years and one day to 12 years.
Also bear in mind that the act of violence is not limited to the apparent physical manifestation on the victim, the mere threat and attempt are sufficient grounds under this provision.
Moreover, if one is found guilty of putting a woman or a child in a dangerous situation that entices imminent physical harm, on top of the jail time, be ready to shell out an amount between PhP 100,000 to 300,000 and a booking to one of Sigmund Freud’s apostles.
Sexual violence is an act that is sexual in nature committed against a woman or her child. Let’s take the following examples to better understand the items included in this section:
Bruno forcibly copulated with his wife Andeng with a threat of burning down their entire village, feeding their children to the ants, or not giving them due financial support.
Bruno had Andeng or her children enter into prostitution whether by actual sale of flesh or through any form of media. It has been all around the news that some unscrupulous parents had their children sell themselves online, this act of these ill witted fools are well under the canopy of the VAWC law.
The ever-feisty Bruno had his mistress live in the conjugal abode. Yes, you heard it right, so if your husband and his brick laden face would have his lover stay at your home or even had the nerve for you and the other woman sleep together on the same bed – book him a reservation in the nearest prison.
Psychological violence refers to those that would cause mental or emotional anguish on the victim – stalking, intimidation, harassment, damage to property, public ridicule or humiliation, and repeated verbal abuse.
So if the man of the house makes it a habit to bark defamatory slanderous expletives especially in front of minors, call the police. Damage to property can be quite tricky to explain as it varies upon any given situation, nevertheless just remember that when the man constantly throws plates like shurikens, thrown him in jail.
There are oftentimes viral issues on men hurting pets, should it be witnessed by children who are members of his household, he is in deep trouble as it is one of those grounds discussed under this law. Crazy things happen that we sometimes find impossible to actually transpire in real life, like parents allowing their children to watch pornography. For these offenders, keep in mind that the VAWC law is very real.
For the legally separated, divorced, or annulled couples, never deprive your partner of legally mandated visitation and custody rights – this falls under psychological hostility.
Economic abuse refers to acts that make or attempt to make a woman financially dependent. The man by all means a man cannot act solely on conjugal money or properties. Deprivation or the mere threat of deprivation of f financial resources and the right to the use and enjoyment of the conjugal, community or property owned in common are punishable under the VAWC law.
Due punishment and penalties adjudicated for the crimes under this law is in parallel with the Revised Penal Code. And should you think that you are abused, never hesitate to consult the nearest government agency or the police.
What is beyond my comprehension is how some men can brutally perform acts of violence against a woman. I was involved in a brawl once in my adventurous younger days when the girlfriend of the guy whom I had an altercation with greeted me with a slap on my face.
I was, of course, surprised as I was caught off guard, but not a single strand of brain cell in my head entertained the thought of retaliating – instead I poured it out on her boyfriend – poor guy.
The point here is hurting a woman more so a child is a psychological illness, a destitute misguided notion of superiority and masculinity.