Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 (VAWC)

VAWC FAQs

1. What is VAWC?

Republic Act No. 9262, otherwise known as "Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004" (VAWC) is a law which protects women and their children from violence 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. (Section 2 R.A. 9262)

2. What are these acts of violence covered by R.A. 9262?

Violence against women and their children refers to any of the following acts, to wit:

Physical Violence – acts including physical or bodily harm.Sexual Violence - acts which are sexual in nature.Psychological violence - acts or omissions causing or likely to cause mental or emotional suffering of the victim.Economic Abuse - acts that make or attempt to make a woman financially dependent. (Section 3 R.A. 9262)

3. I have a live-in partner who is physically abusive. Can I file a case against him?

Yes. A woman who has a sexual or dating relationship with assailant and whom the assailant has a common child may file a case against the latter for Physical violence. (Section 3 R.A. 9262)

4. My boyfriend and I had a common child but he does not give us any financial support. Can I file a case against him for VAWC?

Yes, withdrawal of financial support by your boyfriend constitutes "Economic Abuse." (Section 3(d) R.A. 9262)

5. My husband is engaging in extra-marital affairs. Can I file a case against him for VAWC?

Yes. Any acts or omission of the husband which causes mental or emotional suffering on your part can be a ground for the filing of a VAWC case for "psychological violence." (Section 3(c) R.A. 9262)

6. My boyfriend threatens to kill me if I break up with him. Can I file a case against him?

Yes. Threatening to inflict physical harm on a woman for the purpose of controlling her actions or decisions is deemed as an act of violence against women. (Section 5(f) R.A. 9262)

7. My husband is threatening to kill me and I am afraid that he will do it. What should I do?

If you are threatened with bodily harm, you may apply for a Barangay Protection Order (BPO) from the barangay where you are residing. The application should be in writing, signed and verified. This BPO shall be effective for fifteen (15) days. (Section 11 R.A. 9262)

Should you wish to lengthen the duration of the BPO, you may file a petition of Temporary Protection Order (TPO) or Permanent Protection Order (PPO) with the court of the municipality or city where you are residing. The TPO has a lifespan of thirty (30) days. (Section 15 and 16 R.A. 9262)

8. What is a protection order?

A protection order is an order issued under this act for the purpose of preventing further acts of violence against a woman or her child. (Section 8 R.A. 9262)

9. Who may file a petition for protection order?

A petition for protection order may be filed by any of the following:

The offended party;Parents or guardians of the offended party;Ascendants, descendants or collateral relatives within the fourth civil degree of consanguinity or affinity; Officers or social workers of the DSWD or social workers of local government units (LGUs);Police officers, preferably those in charge of women and children's desks; Punong Barangay or Barangay Kagawad; Lawyer, counselor, therapist or healthcare provider of the petitioner; 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 9 R.A. 9262)

10. What should I do if my husband disregards the protection order of the court?

Much would depend on the nature of the protection order.

If assailant violates the Barangay Protection Order, you can file a complaint for the violation of the barangay protection order with the municipal trial court of the place having jurisdiction over your barangay.

If the assailant violates a Temporary Protection Order of a Permanent Protection Order, such is punishable as contempt of court. You should file a written charge against your husband with the court who issued the TPO or PPO.

In both cases you may file the corresponding criminal or civil charges against the assailant. (Section 21 R.A. 9262)

11. What would happen to my husband if he is declared in contempt of court?

If the respondent is adjudged guilty of indirect contempt committed against a Regional Trial Court or a court of equivalent or higher rank, he may be punished by a fine not exceeding thirty thousand pesos or imprisonment not exceeding six (6) months, or both.

If he is adjudged guilty of contempt committed against a lower court, he may be punished by a fine not exceeding five thousand pesos or imprisonment not exceeding one (1) month, or both. (Section 7 Rule 71 Rules of Court)