The Acts of Violence against Women and Children

VAWC is a prevalent issue worldwide. It takes many forms, including physical, sexual, psychological, and economic abuse. In the Philippines, the government enacted the “Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004” (RA 9262) to protect women and children from all forms of violence and hold perpetrators accountable for their actions. In this blog post, we will discuss the acts of violence against women and children that are punishable under the law under the provisions of RA 9262 and its Implementing Rules and Regulations (IRR) in order to raise awareness and assist women and children who may be experiencing VAWC.


Under Rule III of the IRR, VAWC is considered a public offense. Anyone with personal knowledge of the circumstances involving the commission of the crime can report it to authorities and file a complaint. The government is then obligated to investigate and prosecute the perpetrator.


The IRR of RA 9262 provides a comprehensive list of acts considered as VAWC. These acts include:

  1. Causing physical harm to the woman or her child; 
  2. Threatening to cause the woman or her child physical harm; 
  3. Attempting to cause the woman or her child physical harm; 
  4. Placing the woman or her child in fear of imminent physical harm; 
  5. Attempting to compel or compelling the woman or her child to engage in conduct which the woman or her child has the right to desist from or to desist from conduct which the woman or her child has the right to engage in, or attempting to restrict or restricting the woman’s or her child’s freedom of movement or conduct by force or threat of force, physical or other harm or threat of physical or other harm, or intimidation directed against the woman or her child. This shall include, but not limited to, the following acts committed with the purpose or effect of controlling or restricting the woman’s or her child’s movement or conduct:
    • a. Threatening to deprive or actually depriving the woman or her child of custody or access to her/his family; 
    • b. Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her children of financial support legally due her or her family, or deliberately providing the woman’s children insufficient financial support; 
    • c. Depriving or threatening to deprive the woman or her child of a legal right; 
    • d. Preventing the woman in engaging in any legitimate profession, occupation, business or activity, or controlling the victim’s own money or properties, or solely controlling the conjugal or common money, or properties; 
  6. Inflicting or threatening to inflict physical harm on oneself for the purpose of controlling her actions or decisions; 
  7. 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; 
  8. Engaging in purposeful, knowing, or reckless conduct, personally or through another, that alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to the woman or her child. This shall include, but not be limited to the following acts: 
    • a. Stalking or following the woman or her child in public or private places; 
    • b. Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of the woman or her child; 
    • c. Entering or remaining in the dwelling or on the property of the woman or her child against her/his will; 
    • d. Destroying the property and personal belongings or inflicting harm to animals or pets of the woman or her child; 
    • e. Engaging in any form of harassment or violence; and
  9. Causing mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to the woman or her child, including, but not limited to, repeated verbal and emotional abuse, and denial of financial support or custody of minor children or denial of access to the woman’s child/children.


If found guilty of the acts mentioned above, the offender may face imprisonment ranging from one month and one day up to twenty years. Apart from imprisonment, they will also be required to pay a fine ranging from One hundred thousand pesos (P100,000.00) to Three hundred thousand pesos (P300, 000.00). Additionally, they will have to undergo mandatory psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment and provide proof of compliance to the court.


Criminal complaints for acts falling under Sections 7(a) to 7(f) may be filed within twenty (20) years from the occurrence or commission. While, punishable acts falling under Sections 7(g) to 7(i) shall prescribe within ten (10) years. However, it is important to note that timing can be a crucial factor in these cases, and taking prompt legal action may help ensure a stronger case.

As a law firm dedicated to protecting the rights of victims, we know how difficult it can be to come forward and seek justice after suffering from a traumatic event. However, it is important to remember that you are not alone and that help is available.

If you have been a victim of any type of VAWC as described above, it’s important to speak up and take action. Our firm is here to help anyone undergoing VAWC to navigate this difficult situation and assist in seeking justice and holding the responsible parties accountable for their actions. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us for assistance. Together, we can create a safer space for everyone.

Prepared by Aira Nikka Montemayor.

Violence Against Women and their Children: The After Story

The passing of R.A. 9262 or what is commonly known as the “Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004” shows that there has been some development to prevent cases of violence against women and their children. While the development on this matter is welcomed, the sad reality is that women all over the Philippines still continue to face the threat of violence against their person and their children. Day by day, cases of violence against women and their children continue to pile up. 

One must think, what happens to the VAWC Victim-Survivors after the act of violence was committed? Do they just move on and proceed to go back living their normal lives? It does not stop there. Violence against women may have long-term effects on the overall physical, emotional, and mental well-being of the victims. This effect does not only pertain to the health of the VAWC Victim-Survivors, but it also affects other aspects of their lives. R.A. 9262 recognizes that acts of violence against women and their children have long-term effects which require intervention in different forms. 

What are the health programs and services that a VAWC Victim-Survivor may avail of?

To address the immediate needs and concerns of the VAWC Victim-Survivor, the law provides access to several health programs and services to address the possible side effects on the physical and mental health of the VAWC Victim-Survivor. This also helps in preventing the possible worsening of the effects of violence against women and their children. 

Section 40 of the Implementing Rules and Regulation (“IRR”) of R.A. 9262 made available to VAWC Victim-Survivor the following services:

Section 40. Medical Assistance. The following health programs and services shall immediately be provided through a socialized scheme by the Women and Children Protection Unit (WCPU) in DOH-retained hospitals or in coordination with LGUs or other government health facilities:

a) Complete physical and mental examinations;

b) Medical/Surgical treatment;

c) Psychological and psychiatric evaluation and treatment;

d) Hospital confinement when necessary;

e) Referral to specialty hospital and other concerned agency as needed;

f) Manage the reproductive health concerns of victim-survivors of VAWC; and

g) If necessary, contact the DSWD or social worker of the LGU for emergency assistance to the woman and her child/children, or the police women and children concerns protection desk officer.

What are the other services that a VAWC Victim-Survivor may avail of?

Medical services are not the only services that a VAWC Victim-Survivor may avail of. There are also programs that are developed to help VAWC Victim-Survivor to recover in other aspects of their lives. 

Section 39 of the IRR of R.A. 9262 enumerated the mandatory services and entitlements for VAWC Victim-Survivors, to wit:

Section 39. Mandatory Services and Entitlements for VAWC Victim-Survivors. The following programs, benefits and appropriate services shall be available to victim-survivors and their children in order to facilitate their healing, recovery and social reintegration:

The DSWD and the LGUs shall:

a) Provide emergency shelter, psycho-social counseling and other rehabilitation services to victim-survivors of VAWC;

b) Ensure that service providers in institutions/centers for women and children are gender sensitive and uphold the rights of women and children;

c) Make available relevant skills training and other livelihood development services to victim-survivors of violence against women;

d) Ensure the successful social reintegration and after-care of victim-survivors and their children; and

e) Continue to develop relevant programs and strategies to ensure protection, healing, recovery and social reintegration and address emerging needs and concerns of victim-survivors of violence.

Interestingly, these services and entitlements mandated by law do not only seek to provide a band-aid solution to the possible negative effects of the acts of violence. It recognizes the negative economic, mental, and social effects arising from acts of violence. These programs and services are designed to help women to get back on their feet and help them recover socially and economically. 

What are the counseling and treatment programs that an offender should undergo?

Under the IRR of R.A. 9262, even the offender themselves are entitled to undergo a rehabilitation program. It appears that the law aims to implement a holistic approach to preventing cases of violence against women and their children. 

Section 41 of the IRR of R.A. 9262 mandates the development of programs for the benefit of the offenders, to wit:

Section 41. Counseling and Treatment of Offenders. The DSWD in partnership with non-government organizations (NGOs) and LGUs shall ensure effective psychosocial rehabilitation of perpetrator of VAWC, which includes but not limited to the following:

a) Development of policies and procedures relative to the delivery of rehabilitation services to offenders/perpetrators of violence, ensuring its effectiveness and efficiency;

b) Provision of appropriate training to City/Municipal Social Workers and other service providers who are implementing rehabilitative/treatment programs for offenders/perpetrators; and

c) Establishment of system of accreditation of counselors and rehabilitation programs in coordination with concerned institutions and the academe for regulatory purposes.

When necessary, the offender/perpetrator shall be ordered by the Court to submit to psychiatric treatment or confinement. Specifically, offenders/perpetrators who were issued protection orders by the Barangay or the courts shall be subjected to mandatory rehabilitative counseling and treatment.

Why develop programs for these offenders though? Even the most undeserving deserve to be treated like humans and have the opportunity to reform. The programs will hopefully help them reform and resolve any issues.  

The Power of Community

The intervention provided by law is for the individual. However, the law also acknowledges that the fight on recovering from any form of violence against women and their children includes the community. This community intervention may take the form of a group education that aims to promote awareness of the rights and recourse of VAWC Victim-Survivors. 

Community intervention may likewise take the form of other people making themselves readily available should their help be needed in fighting for the rights of VAWC Victim-Survivor. It is comforting to know that women and even non-women nowadays are empowered to fight not only for themselves but also for other women who continues to be a victim of violence. 

AJA Law is one with the community in its fight to end violence against women and their children. True to its commitment, AJA Law will continue and will never get tired of informing women of their rights under the law. We are all in this together. Be one with us. Our collective actions will eventually result in a greater good. 

Prepared by CJ Sabile.

Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children: An Overview

The National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW) reported that, for the years 2000-2003, “female violence comprised more than 90% of all forms of abuse and violence and more than 90% of these reported cases were committed by the women’s intimate partners such as their husbands and live-in partners.” 

After nine (9) years of spirited advocacy by women’s groups, Republic Act (R.A.) No. 9262 was enacted, entitled “An Act Defining Violence Against Women and Their Children, Providing for Protective Measures for Victims, Prescribing Penalties Therefor, and for Other Purposes.” The law took effect on March 27, 2004.1

In 2008 it was reported that 20.1% of women aged 15-49 years old reported having experienced physical violence at the age of 15, in 2013 the figure was lowered to only 19.6%. When asked if they have experienced violence in the past year, the figure in 2008 is at 7.3%, there has been a slight decrease in this figure to 5.6% in 2013. 2

While the Philippines had progressed with the passing of the law, we still have a long road ahead to end cases of violence against women and their children. Information dissemination is an important part of this fight. Hence, this article will provide an overview of what R.A. 9262 is about. 

What are considered acts of violence against women and children?

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;
  • against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship,
  • with whom he has a common child;
  • 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.3

It is important to highlight that the common denominator for those who would be considered victims under this law is that the victim has some sort of relationship with the perpetrator. This is a unique and essential requisite in determining whether the case will be considered as a violation of R.A. 9262. 

Take note that the definition provided above is just a general definition of what are considered as acts of violence against women and their children. A discussion of the specific acts of violence under the law will be released in a separate article. 

An interesting question would be, is violence against women and their children committed by men alone? A perusal of the definition shows that the act may be committed by “any person“. There is no distinction as to whether this person is a male or female. It is therefore submitted that even a female may commit acts of violence against women and their children as long as the perpetrator had a dating or sexual relationship with the victim.

Who may file a complaint for violation of R.A. 9262?

Section 7 of R.A. 9262 provides that the Regional Trial Court designated as a Family Court shall have original and exclusive jurisdiction over cases of violence against women and their children under this law. In the absence of such court in the place where the offense was committed, the case shall be filed in the Regional Trial Court where the crime or any of its elements was committed at the option of the compliant.

What are the rights of the victims?

Aside from availing of the legal remedies provided under R.A. 9262 such as, but not limited to, Permanent Protection Order (PPO) and Temporary Protection Order (TPO) which shall be discussed in detail in a subsequent article, the law vested victims of violence with certain rights. 

Section 35 of R.A. 9262 provides that in addition to their rights under existing laws, victims of violence against women and their children shall have the following rights:

  1. To be treated with respect and dignity;
  2. To avail of legal assistance from the PAO of the Department of Justice (DOJ) or any public legal assistance office;
  3. To be entitled to support services from the DSWD and LGUs’
  4. To be entitled to all legal remedies and support as provided for under the Family Code; and
  5. To be informed of their rights and the services available to them including their right to apply for a protection order.

Employed victims are also entitled to additional leaves. Section 43 of R.A. 9262 provides that victims under this Act shall be entitled to take a paid leave of absence up to ten (10) days in addition to other paid leaves under the Labor Code and Civil Service Rules and Regulations, extendible when the necessity arises as specified in the protection order.

In addition to this, the DSWD, LGUs, and DOH are mandated by law to provide certain services to the victims. Particularly, Section 40 of R.A. 9262 provides that the DSWD, and LGUs 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.

Cases of Violence against Women and their Children today

Nineteen (19) years after the enactment of the law, cases of violence against women remain prevalent. In fact, under the 2022 Philippine National Demographic and Health Survey, it was reported that eighteen percent (18%) of women have experienced any form of physical, sexual, or emotional violence by their current or most recent husband/intimate partner. 

Two in five women (41%) aged 15-49 who have experienced physical or sexual violence have never sought help to end the violence or told anyone about the violence.4 It is evident that to date, most women who are victims of violence have never sought the help of anyone and this might partly be due to the fact that the services they can avail of to protect themselves are not readily available or inefficient. 

AJA Law aims to be a part of the solution in putting an end to the cases of violence against women. Should you need any help, our lawyers are readily available to help you and protect you, we are here for you. Together, we will put an end to the country’s long fight against violence against women.

Prepared by CJ Sabile.


  1. Garcia vs. Drilon, G.R. No. 179267, 25 June 2013
  2. Clarissa C. David; Jose Ramon G.; Albert; Jana Flor V. Vizmanos. 2017. Rising to the challenge of eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls. © Philippine Institute for Development Studies.
  3. Section 3(a), R.A. 9262.
  4. 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey