The fight for the rights of women against violence was emphasized during the Cold War and postwar era when women leaders brought up the subject relating to the rank of women in the society. This discussion resulted to the affirmation of the Decade for Women (1976-1985) which talks about the desire of women worldwide for equality, peace and development.
Despite this improvement, violence against women was not acknowledged as a human rights issue up until the Vienna Conference on Human Rights which was held last 1993.
In the conference, the UN General Assembly approved a Declaration for the Elimination of Violence Against Women. Article 1 of the Declaration states that: violence against women is an obstacle to the achievement of equality, development and peace, as recognized in the Nairobi Forward-looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, in which a set of measures to combat violence against women was recommended, and to the full implementation of the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women…violence against women constitutes a violation of the rights and fundamental freedoms of women and impairs or nullifies their enjoyment of those rights and freedoms, and concerned about the long-standing failure to protect and promote those rights and freedoms in the case of violence against women… violence against women is a manifestation of historically unequal power relations between men and women, which have led to domination over and discrimination against women by men and to the prevention of the full advancement of women, and that violence against women is one of the crucial social mechanisms by which women are forced into a subordinate position compared with men” It is specified that violence against women (VAW) prevents women from achieving fairness and freedom, and the enjoyment they can get from it.
It is also clearly stated that VAW resulted from gender disparity, which hinders women from showing what their full potentials are, and should be acknowledged by different government agencies as harm to human rights. In the Philippines both government and non-government organizations made a substantial progress in terms of addressing and eradicating VAW. The passage of Republic Act No. 9262 or more commonly known as Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 is one of the foremost accomplishments made by the government in addressing VAW. This Republic Act was approved last March 8, 2004 during the celebration of International Women’s Day. In addition, it authorized the creation of the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and Their Children (IACVAWC).
Violence against women and their children (VAWC) addresses the occurrence of mistreatments on women and their children by their partners like: husband or ex-husband, live-in partner or ex-live in partner, boyfriend/girlfriend or ex-boyfriend/ex-girlfriend and dating partner or ex-dating partner. These acts of violence can be: physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty. Physical abuse contains acts which imposes bodily harm like battery. Economic abuse contains giving inadequate financial support or controlling the marital money. Psychological abuse includes marital disloyalty, verbal abuse, public humiliation or stalking. Sexual violence includes forcing the woman or her child to perform sexual acts or prostituting the woman or her child.
VAWC under 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”. Dating relationship means that a relationship occurred between a woman and her partner whereas sexual relationship involves sexual acts which can to pregnancy. The stakeholders of this law are essentially women and their children. Children refers to the children of the abused woman, below 18 years old, legitimate or illegitimate, or those who are 18 years old and above but are unable of taking care of themselves, comprising children who are not her biological children but are under her care.
Victims of VAWC can acquire barangay protection order (issued by the Punong Barangay, or if unavailable, by a Kagawad) and/or temporary or permanent protection order from the court (issued the Family Court), or file for criminal action (issued by the Regional Trial Court or the Municipal Trial Court) through this law. In terms of filing a case, basically anyone who has information of the crime may do on the victim’s account. This may consist of parents or guardians, social workers, relatives, and the police force. Different programs and projects have been implemented to lessen the effect of violence against women. These programs involve temporary care and shelter for Women in Especially Difficult Circumstances, called the Haven, Crisis Intervention Unit of the Department of Social Welfare and Development.
The Women and Children Protection Program has also been established by the Department of Health in several hospitals in the state whereas the Philippine National Police has a Women’s and Children’s Desk, primarily managed by female police. Non-government organizations have also elevated the awareness of the public on VAWC by giving care and support for the victims even before government services were provided. Many of these programs started by different NGOs have been adopted by the government. An example of these programs is: Approach to Violence Against Women (COMBAT? VAW) initiated by the Women’s Legal Bureau and the HASIK. Other remarkable women NGOs that have fought for VAW since the beginning are SALIGAN (a legal group), KALAKASAN (Women Against Violence, an NGO providing shelter and counseling) and Women’s Legal Bureau (legal group).
Several research projects about coping and dealing with violence and maintaining a system of services devoted to helping VAW survivors are being fulfilled by these groups. They have also thoroughly tried to retain records of their clients and services to help establish data on the scope and nature of acts of violene against women. This law can be compared to Republic Act No. 8369 or The Family Courts Act of 1997 which essentially creates the family courts in the Philippines giving them access over child and family cases. Under Section 5 or the Jurisdiction of Family Courts, it states that Family Courts has an authority to hear and decide on domestic violence against women and children. A part of Section 5 states that: The Family Courts shall have exclusive original jurisdiction to hear and decide…cases of domestic violence against: women – which are acts of gender based violence that results, or are likely to result in physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women; and other forms of physical abuse such as battering or threats and coercion which violate a woman’s personhood, integrity and freedom of movement; and children – which include the commission of all forms of abuse, neglect, cruelty, exploitation, violence and discrimination and all other conditions prejudicial to their development. If an act constitutes a criminal offense, the accused or batterer shall be subject to criminal proceedings and the corresponding penalties. If we compare this law to Anti-VAWC, we can tell that there is a significant improvement. Whereas The Family Courts Act is only limited to physical, sexual and psychological harm towards women, Anti-VAWC broadened these acts of violence up to economic abuse. Aside from that, Another is that The Family Courts Act is only limited around the family. It doesn’t include parties living as husband and wife without the benefit of marriage, thus limiting to coverage of this law. Also, this law doesn’t allow the involvement of barangay, instead they are handled by specialists from different departments of the government particularly Department of Social, Welfare and Development (DSWD).
The Family Courts Act is more difficult to access compared to Anti-VAWC because VAWC related issues are easier to be voiced out since it includes the involvement of barangays, Another law related to Anti-VAWC is Republic Act No. 8505 or the Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998. Both laws pertains to sexual violence, one of the several acts of VAWC. Also, Section 41 of Anti-VAWC and Section 3 of Rape Victim Assistance and Protection (RVAP) share the same objective. Section 40 and Section 41 of Anti-VAWC states that: “The DSWD, and LGU’s shall provide the victims temporary shelters, provide counseling, psycho-social services and /or, recovery, rehabilitation programs and livelihood assistance. The DOH shall provide medical assistance to victims. “The DSWD shall provide rehabilitative counseling and treatment to perpetrators towards learning constructive ways of coping with anger and emotional outbursts and reforming their ways. When necessary, the offender shall be ordered by the Court to submit to psychiatric treatment or confinement. ” Section 3 of Rape Victim Assistance and Protection on the other hands states that: “The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), the Department of Health (DOH), the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the Department of Justice (DOJ), and a lead non-government organization (NGO) with proven track record or experience in handling sexual abuse cases, shall establish in every province and city a ape crisis center located in a government hospital or health clinic or in any other suitable place for the purpose of…providing rape victims with psychological counseling, medical and health services, including their medico-legal examination. ” Both laws intend on helping individuals by providing them counseling and health services to ensure their recovery. There is a significant improvement in the services being provided by Anti-VAWC though. Whereas RVAP is only focused on giving counseling and medical services, Anti-VWAC is dedicated on giving services such as counseling, pyscho-social service, rehabilitation programs and livelihood assistance. This will not only ensure the recovery of women and their children but also the future awaiting for them. From this comparison of Anti-VAWC with two related and older laws, clearly an improvement was achieved.
It is not only more clearly identified but also it has a more vivid vision of what it wants to achieve. The objectives of the law are evidently stated and the planned course of actions that should be taken are well detailed and identified Bibliography Declaration on the Elimination of Violence against Women. (1994, February 23). Retrieved March 25, 2013, from United Nations General Assembly: http://www. unhchr. ch/huridocda/huridoca. nsf/(Symbol)/A. RES. 48. 104. En Alviola, A. (2013, March 19). Anti Violence Against Women and Their Children. Retrieved March 25, 2013, from Dr. Jovito R. Salonga Center For Law and Development: http://salongacenter. rg/2013/03/anti-violence-against-women-and-their-children/ Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act. (n. d. ). Retrieved March 25, 2013, from Captain Barangay to the Rescue: http://captainbarangay. wordpress. com/laws/anti-violence-against-women-and-their-children-act-ra-9262/ Philippine initiatives to eliminate VAW. (n. d. ). Retrieved March 25, 2013, from Philippine Commission on Women: http://pcw. gov. ph/focus-areas/violence-against-women/initiatives Philippine Laws and Judisprudence Databank. (n. d. ). Retrieved March 25, 2013, from The LawPhil Project: http://www. lawphil. net/statutes/repacts/ra1997/ra_8353_1997. html Philippine
Cite this Policy Analysis on Republic Act No. 9262
Policy Analysis on Republic Act No. 9262. (2016, Nov 08). Retrieved from https://graduateway.com/policy-analysis-on-republic-act-no-9262/