The Law on Violence Against Women and Children

R.A. 9262 is also known as the VAW-C law (pronounced as spelled). As expected, it punishes, among others, those who subject wives, girlfriends and common-law partners to physical abuse. What’s more, it also punishes “psychological violence” which is defined as “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. It includes causing or allowing the victim to witness the physical, sexual or psychological abuse of a member of the family to which the victim belongs, or to witness pornography in any form or to witness abusive injury to pets or to unlawful or unwanted deprivation of the right to custody and/or visitation of common children.”
This law also punishes “economic abuse” which is legally defined as “acts that make or attempt to make a woman financially dependent”. In layman’s terms, there is economic abuse when one spouse purposely deprives or withholds financial support in order to manipulate the other. It is no secret among wives that although a marriage appears to be healthy and stable, the woman always has to set aside “something” for herself so as not to be left helpless by an abusive spouse, should the tides change after so many years of marriage. The law recognizes the financial inferiority of a housewife or re-singled mother and her inability to stand up to abuse in case she is deprived of financial support.