May 19, 2024

By now, every grown-up Filipino must be familiar with the term VAWC. It stands for violence against women and children.
In 2014, Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-VAWC Act was passed. It was enacted supposedly to protect women against being abused by men due to marriage or any other relationship that gives rise to the dominance of the latter over the former thereby achieving a measure of equality among the two sexes. It gives emphasis on the rights of women and their children against physical, psychological or mental abuse that may be inflicted upon them by their parents. It expressly excludes men from the operation of the law.
I was never a fan of the Anti-VAWC Act. From the onset, I felt that it is downright discriminatory. It only caters to the emotions and well-being of women without regard to those of men as if men were created to be the wrecker of the two.
It assumes a position that in every relationship, the female is always the weaker sex which necessitates protection from the state. It does not consider that there are male partners who are as much victims of abuse. It does not reflect the reality that in a warm country like the Philippines, husbands are submissive and normally do not abuse their wives. True, there are those who are domineering, but in most instances, this dominance works both ways. Wives, too, dominate their husbands in some sort of ways. I know because I, too, am a husband.
I argued relentlessly against the law. I was of the opinion that if there is a statute that needs to be repealed or amended, it is the Anti-VAWC Act. To me, it only serves the purpose of every woman to hold in ransom their men every time they don’t get their way in a relationship. It becomes very convenient for them to gain control knowing that mental or psychological abuse is a state of mind which is easy to dramatize and easier to prosecute.
Many boyfriends, husbands and promising matured individuals have ended up in jail because of the indifference and insensitivity of their partners. The Anti-VAWC Act does not take into consideration that like females, males have different levels of personal tolerance, emotional stability, mental capacity and family background. All these factors play a crucial role into the success or failure of a relationship. Yet, the everlasting threat of a law that is biased to wives, girlfriends or any other female partners is not helping raise a healthy union. It disregards the reputation of Filipinos as gentlemen and the character of Filipinas as ladies.
All of the foregoing is about to change.
Last Dec. 7, Rizal Rep. Fidel Nograles filed House Bill 4888 seeking to amend RA 9262. Entitled “Anti-Violence Against Partners and their Children,” it aims to include in the coverage of psychological, mental and physical abuse males and LGBTQ (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transsexual, queer) persons.
It seeks to equally protect the rights of men and women against domestic violence arising out of a relationship. It recognizes the reality that in every union, men are as much vulnerable to violence as are women. It rejuvenates the expectation of male partners that the law cares for them in much the same way that it cares for their counterparts.
God bless Rep. Nograles for the proposed law. HB 4888 is fair and equitable. It is not biased or discriminatory because it is for the benefit of both men and women. This law should be certified as urgent and must be deliberated upon by Congress immediately. If conjugal partnerships are to be reared in an honest and trustworthy environment, males and females ought to be governed by laws that treat them as equals.