Women Safety Module says forms of violence include emotional, economic

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Monday, March 3, 2014

A DAY before Valentine’s Day in 2012, a public prosecutor went inside a mall in Cebu City with her sister and daughter.

The prosecutor later noticed her former boyfriend following them. Manuel (not his real name) later tried to hug her, to no avail.

He continued to follow them.


Manuel then grabbed the prosecutor by the arm when they were already outside the mall. Manuel forced her estranged lover to go along with him, but the prosecutor pulled away.

After she found out that Manuel’s marriage was not yet annulled, the prosecutor ended her relationship with him.

The mall incident pushed the prosecutor to charge Manuel with a complaint for violating Republic Act (RA) 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004.

“I was really assuming he would be the man I would spend the rest of my life with, and he initially gave me every reason to expect that that was what he wanted also,” the prosecutor said in her affidavit.

Women’s Month

The Philippines celebrates Women’s Month every March. RA 9262 was enacted on March 8, 2004 to protect women and children suffering from domestic violence.

Under RA 9262, a woman can file a complaint even if she was not physically abused.

The Women Safety Module, produced after the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted by the National Statistics Office (NSO) in 2008, states that the forms of violence are physical, emotional, psychological, sexual, and economic abuses.

“Emotional and other forms of non-personal violence are the most common types of spousal violence. One in seven ever-married women experienced physical violence by their husbands while eight percent experienced sexual violence by their husbands,” the NDHS reported.

Violence against married women “tends to decline as husband’s age increases, education increases, and wealth quintile increases.”

The NDHS further reported that violence against women are prevalent in Central Visayas, Caraga region, and Soccsksargen.

The prosecutor’s case against Manuel was among the 162 cases filed in different court branches in Cebu City in 2013 by her fellow prosecutors under the justice department.

The highest number of cases was filed in August last year with 21, while the lowest was in October with five.

There were 16 cases filed in court in January, 14 in February, 14 in March, 19 in April, 13 in May, 10 in June, 17 in July, 16 in September, 8 in November and 9 in December.

In 2012, 192 cases of violations of RA 9262 were filed in courts.

The law states that violence against women and their children 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.”

Meanwhile, the 2008 NDHS revealed that one in five women aged 15-49 experienced physical abuse since age 15.

It further stated that “14.4 percent of married women have experienced physical abuse from their husbands; and more than 37 percent of separated or widowed women have experienced physical violence, implying that domestic violence could be the reason for separation or annulment.”

NDHS further reported that at least there was “one in 25 women age 15-49 who have ever had sex ever experienced forced first sexual intercourse the law to be effective.

According to NDHS, only “one in three women who experienced physical/sexual violence reported having physical injuries such as cuts, bruises or aches.”

“More than 10 percent reported to have suffered eye injuries, sprains, dislocations or burns, and about the same proportion reported that they attempted to commit suicide.

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on March 03, 2014.

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