Domestic violence still pervasive in RP, says Amnesty International
- Katherine Adraneda () - March 9, 2010 - 12:00am

MANILA, Philippines - Domestic violence is still “pervasive” in the Philippines despite the passage of a law that supposedly prohibits violence against women and children, the local chapter of a London-based human rights watchdog said yesterday.

Amnesty International-Philippineas (AI-Philippines) said victims of domestic violence are denied access to justice even if the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Law or Republic Act 9262 has been in effect since 2004.

“Domestic violence in our country remains pervasive despite an anti-violence against women and children law. Stories of women who courageously broke their silence about domestic violence show that protection by government from violence of husbands or other intimate partners has not completely eradicated traumatic experiences in the family,” said Aurora Corazon Parong, section director of AI-Philippines.

Members of AI-Philippines yesterday joined other women’s organizations in a march from España to Mendiola to demand an end to violence against women “in all its forms.”

AI-Philippines wants the government to investigate and punish acts of violence against women and their children by their intimate partners and to provide services for the rehabilitation of the victims.

In the report titled “Breaking the Silence, Seeking Justice in Intimate Partner Violence in the Philippines” released earlier this year by AI-Philippines and Women Working Together to Stop Violence Against Women, the groups said RA 9262 is a significant law for women because many of its provisions prohibit discrimination and violence against women, especially those in an intimate relationship.

Parong said, however, that there are many loopholes in the implementation of the law.

“Protection of women’s rights does not end with the enactment of a law. It needs a follow through in implementation,” she said.

“Six years after the birth of RA 9262, we see many loopholes in the implementation.”

The groups urged local government units, the courts, and the Commission on Human Rights (CHR) to actively participate in the implementation of RA 9262.

The groups also urged the Inter-Agency Council on Violence against Women and Children to assess the effectiveness of all programs designed to eliminate violence against women.

“Domestic violence, as defined by the law, is not anymore a private matter only for the family to handle,” she said. “It is a public scandal and a grave abuse against women’s rights. The law provides that all units of society must act to prevent domestic violence. While this is true, the lack of political will to implement the law has made it only a piece of paper that the president signed in 2004.” – With Christina Mendez, Mayen Jaymalin, Aurea Calica

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL-PHILIPPINEAS ANTI-VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND CHILDREN LAW AUREA CALICA AURORA CORAZON PARONG BREAKING THE SILENCE HUMAN RIGHTS LAW VIOLENCE WOMEN
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