Did you know RA 9262 also protects males?

Many people say that Republic Act No. (RA) 9262 protects only females or "women," as used in the law itself. RA 9262 is more popularly known as the Anti-Violence against Women and their Children (Anti-VAWC) Act.

Said law declares as a policy 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.

Towards this end, the State shall exert efforts to address violence committed against women and children in keeping with the fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution and the Provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the convention on the Elimination of all forms of discrimination Against Women, Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international human rights instruments of which the Philippines is a party.

Therefore, the law also protects children, whether male or female. It is a common misconception that the law protects only women. In fact, the law defines children as "those below eighteen (18) years of age or older but are incapable of taking care of themselves." As to them, the law makes no distinction.However, for violence against children to be covered by RA 9262, such act or series of acts should be committed against:

[1] A common child between the offender and the victim (woman); or
[2] The victim's child.

Additionally, the offender should have a relationship with the victim. She may be the offender's wife, former wife, girlfriend, ex-girlfriend or sexual partner (whether current or previous). The term sexual partner is so broad that it may include friends with benefits (fuck buddies) or one-night stand (ONS) participants.

The law defines "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.

Another misconception about RA 9262 is that the offender is always a male. This is NOT true. The offender may be a male or a female. The law does not require that the act or acts of violence be committed by a male. Therefore, in a sexual or dating relationship between two females, there can be acts of violence covered by RA 9262.