VAWC law amendment sought to include husbands, LGBT+
MANILA, Philippines — A neophyte lawmaker is pushing for the amendment of Republic Act No. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 to include husbands and members of the LGBTQ+ community who suffer maltreatment and abuse.
Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list Rep. Margarita Nograles on Monday said she filed House Bill No. 1365 knowing that domestic abuse is not “an exclusive problem of women and children” given the rising cases of men and LGBTQ+ members who are being mistreated.
Without any law protecting men and the LGBTQ+ community, Nograles said they — particularly noting men who are branded “ander de saya” (under a woman’s dress) for being submissive to their woman-partner — are experiencing abuse and discrimination by society.
“Though we claimed they’re included in every facet of the workplace, family, school, and social and political venues, they are far from reach, especially from our compatriots from the LGBTQI+ community and men who are still at this point severely limit in their exercise and enjoyment of the of these basic rights,” she said in the bill’s explanatory note.
“They continue to be discriminated against by society at large, on the basis of misconception and ignorance. More adversely, members of this community have suffered domestic violence leading to their loss of dignity without the protection of federal legislation,” she added.
House Bill No. 1365 aims to insert the term “partners” into the VAWC law’s Section 2, which enumerates individuals that should be protected under the law to ensure the measure’s inclusiveness.
It also wants the word “partners” and the male pronoun “his” inserted into other provisions of the VAWC law, which stipulates actions that constitute domestic violence and those subjected to physical and sexual violence.
Nograles’ measure likewise seeks to include two representatives from the LGBTQ+ community in the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and Their Children (IAC-VAWC), which was established under R.A. 9262.
“It is the fervent hope of this proposed bill that seeks to amend Republic Act No. 9262 and include men and the LGBTQI+ community in its mandate and put an end to the discrimination and domestic abuse and attain a more inclusive society where all human beings are born free and equal,” she said.
In 2018, physician Rafael Castillo wrote an opinion piece in the Philippine Daily Inquirer about the rising incidence of domestic abuse against male individuals. According to Castillo, anti-domestic abuse advocate Emiliano “Nano” Manahan said that the incidence of male abuse affects 12-15 out of every 100 couples in the country.
READ: More Filipino men battered by their wives
Aside from the lack of a specific law to hold abusers accountable, the observation was men often refused to talk about the issue due to the repercussions of living in a macho culture, preventing them from admitting they were abused.
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