Anti violence against women and their children act of 2004

Declaration of Policy.- It is hereby declared that the State values the dignity of women and children and guarantees full respect for human rights. The State also recognizes the need to protect the family and its members particularly women and children, from violence and threats to their personal safety and security. Section 3

Definition of Terms. – As used in this Act
“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. It includes, but is not limited to, the following acts:

A. “Physical Violence” refers to acts that include bodily or physical harm; B. “Sexual violence” refers to an act which is sexual in nature, committed against a woman or her child. C. “Psychological violence” refers to acts or omissions causing or likely to cause mental or emotional suffering of the victim such as but not limited to intimidation, harassment, stalking, damage to property, public ridicule or humiliation, repeated verbal abuse and mental infidelity. D. “Economic abuse” refers to acts that make or attempt to make a woman financially dependent “Sexual relations” refers to a single sexual act which may or may not result in the bearing of a common child. “Children” refers to those below eighteen (18) years of age or older but are incapable of taking care of themselves as defined under Republic Act No. 7610. As used in this Act, it includes the biological children of the victim and other children under her care. Section 5

Acts of Violence Against Women and Their Children.- The crime of violence against women and their children is committed through any of the following acts:
(a) Causing physical harm to the woman or her child;
(b) Threatening to cause the woman or her child physical harm; (c) Attempting to cause the woman or her child physical harm; (d) Placing the woman or her child in fear of imminent physical harm; (e) Inflicting or threatening to inflict physical harm on oneself for the purpose of controlling her actions or decisions; (f) Causing or attempting to cause the woman or her child to engage in any sexual activity which does not constitute rape, by force or threat of force, physical harm, or through intimidation directed against the woman or her child or her/his immediate family Section 6

Penalties.- The crime of violence against women and their children, under Section 5 hereof shall be punished according to the following rules: Acts falling under Section 5(a) constituting attempted, frustrated or consummated parricide or murder or homicide shall be punished in accordance with the provisions of the Revised Penal Code. Acts falling under Section 5(b) shall be punished by imprisonment of two degrees lower than the prescribed penalty for the consummated crime as specified in the preceding paragraph but shall in no case be lower than arrest of mayor. If the acts are committed while the woman or child is pregnant or committed in the presence of her child, the penalty to be applied shall be the maximum period of penalty prescribed in the section. In addition to imprisonment, the perpetrator shall (a) pay a fine in the amount of not less than One hundred thousand pesos (P100, 000.00) but not more than three hundred thousand pesos (300,000.00); (b) undergo mandatory psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment and shall report compliance to the court. Section 9

Who may file Petition for Protection Orders? – A petition for protection order may be filed by any of the following: (a) The offended party;
(b) Parents or guardians of the offended party;
(c) Ascendants, descendants or collateral relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity; (d) Officers or social workers of the DSWD or social workers of local government units (LGUs); (e) Police officers, preferably those in charge of women and children’s desks; (f) Punong Barangay or Barangay Kagawad;

(g) Lawyer, counselor, therapist or healthcare provider of the petitioner; (h) At least two (2) concerned responsible citizens of the city or municipality where the violence against women and their children occurred and who has personal knowledge of the offense committed. Section 11

How to Apply for a Protection Order. – The application for a protection order must be in writing, signed and verified under oath by the applicant. It may be filed as an independent action or as incidental relief in any civil or criminal case the subject matter or issues thereof partakes of a violence as described in this Act. A standard protection order application form, written in English with translation to the major local languages, shall be made available to facilitate applications for protections order, and shall contain, among other, the following information: (a) Names and addresses of petitioner and respondent;

(b) Description of relationships between petitioner and respondent; (c) A statement of the circumstances of the abuse;
(d) Description of the reliefs requested by petitioner as specified in Section 8 herein; (e) Request for counsel and reasons for such;
(f) Request for waiver of application fees until hearing; and (g) An attestation that there is no pending application for a protection order in another court. Section 25
Public Crime – Violence against women and their children shall be considered a public offense which may be prosecuted upon the filing of a complaint by any citizen having personal knowledge of the circumstances involving the commission of the crime. Section 26

Battered Woman Syndrome as a Defense. – Victim-survivors who are found by the courts to be suffering from battered woman syndrome do not incur any criminal and civil liability notwithstanding the absence of any of the elements for justifying circumstances of self-defense under the Revised Penal Code. Section 28

Custody of children. – The woman victim of violence shall be entitled to the custody and support of her child/children. Children below seven (7) years old older but with mental or physical disabilities shall automatically be given to the mother, with right to support, unless the court finds compelling reasons to order otherwise. A victim who is suffering from battered woman syndrome shall not be disqualified from having custody of her children. In no case shall custody of minor children be given to the perpetrator of a woman who is suffering from Battered woman syndrome. Section 32

Duties of Other Government Agencies and LGUs – Other government agencies and LGUs shall establish programs such as, but not limited to, education and information campaign and seminars or symposia on the nature, causes, incidence and consequences of such violence particularly towards educating the public on its social impacts. Section 35

Rights of Victims. – In addition to their rights under existing laws, victims of violence against women and their children shall have the following rights: (a) To be treated with respect and dignity;

(b) To avail of legal assistance form the PAO of the Department of Justice (DOJ) or any public legal assistance office; (c) To be entitled to support services form the DSWD and LGUs’ (d) To be entitled to all legal remedies and support as provided for under the Family Code; and (e) To be informed of their rights and the services available to them including their right to apply for a protection order.

Section 40
Mandatory Programs and Services for Victims. – 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.

Section 41
Counseling and Treatment of Offenders. – 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 44

Confidentiality. – All records pertaining to cases of violence against women and their children including those in the barangay shall be confidential and all public officers and employees and public or private clinics to hospitals shall respect the right to privacy of the victim. Whoever publishes or causes to be published, in any format, the name, address, telephone number, school, business address, employer, or other identifying information of a victim or an immediate family member, without the latter’s consent, shall be liable to the contempt power of the court. Any person who violates this provision shall suffer the penalty of one (1) year imprisonment and a fine of not more than Five Hundred Thousand pesos (P500,000.00). Section 50

Effectively – This Act shall take effect fifteen (15) days from the date of its complete publication in at least two (2) newspapers of general circulation.

RECOMMENDATION
Women were often experience the different ways of violence, that’s why the government made a law to address and lessen these threats or problems. But today’s generation, not just women were abuse .In fact, men also experiencing violence nowadays. It would be unfair to their part. Therefore, we recommend that the government should create a law that protects the rights of the men. There are wives abusing their husband without valid reasons. Women are naturally tactful. But they must be aware and conscious enough to know their limitations of being tactful. We have what we called verbal abuse and emotional abuse. Women were often exercised these kind of abuse against men. Anent to this, the government should also make a law that will protects men’s rights. All of us should be treated equally no matter what gender we had.

CONCLUSION
As a feminine, we are thankful and grateful just because the government made a law that protects our rights. VAWC Law is very important on the part of a woman for at least the different kinds of deviance act against women and their children will be lessened. ANTI VAWC LAW also helps to maintain the peace and order and promote justice especially to those women who’s in difficult circumstances together with their children. With that, women can start their new life with their children after the tragedy that has happened.

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