PHILIPPINES: Laws Protecting Women Bring Down Abuse Cases

Thursday, March 24, 2011
South Eastern Asia
PeaceWomen Consolidated Themes: 
Sexual and Gender-Based Violence

The Philippine National Police (PNP) women's desk here has noted a dwindling number of cases of violation against women with the passage of stricter laws that protect women and punish the offenders.

PO3 Edna Ulep, head of the Laoag City PNP Women's Desk, said only three cases of domestic violence were filed in court since January this year noting that the low case turnout was due to harsher laws that protect women's rights.

Ulep cited Republic Act 9262 or the anti-violence against women and their children and Republic Act 7610 or the special protection on children against abuse, exploitation and discrimination to have contributed to the efforts of protecting women's rights and in going after abusive husbands and partners.

“The laws on women ensure that their rights are not trampled upon and that offenders are punished,” she said.

The provision of RA 9262 also protects women in dating relationships or those in situations where the parties live as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage, or are romantically involved over time and on a continuing basis during the course of the relationship.

Some important features of RA 9262 include a protection order that women can secure from the courts prohibiting their husbands or partners from harassing, annoying, telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with them.

The husband may also be taken out from the couple's house regardless of ownership of the residence as a result of the abusive acts that he committed against the wife.

The court may also direct the husband to stay away from the wife and other household members at a specified distance and to stay away from the house, school, place of employment or any place that the wife may frequent.

Ulep said most women who ask for police assistance are those who encountered physical, psychological and sexual abuse from the hands of their husbands or partners.

The city PNP joined the National Women's Month celebration by hanging advocacy tarpaulins and visiting communities to conduct lectures on women's rights.