Republic Act No. 9262
WOMEN AND THEIR
CHILDREN ACT OF 2004
What is RA 9262?
It is a special law, otherwise known as Anti-Violence against women and
their Children Act of 2004 (Anti-VAWC), which penalizes as a public crime
certain acts of violence against women and their children.
When was the law signed and became effective?
The law was signed last March 8, 2004. It took effect on March 27.
What is “violence against women and their children”?
“Violence against women and their children” (VAWC) is any act or a
series of acts committed against the victim 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.
Who is the woman victim protected under this law?
a) wife; or
b) former wife; or
c) a woman with whom the offender has or had a
sexual or dating relationship; or
d) a woman with whom the offender has a common
Who are the children victims protected under the law?
“Children” means the abused woman’s children, boy or girl alike, below 18
years old, whether legitimate or illegitimate; or other children who live with
the woman or are under her care.
Who is the “offender”?
The following can be held liable for violation of RA 9262:
b) former husband;
e) live-in partner or ex-partner
f) one with whom the woman has a common child;
g) one with whom the woman has/had sexual or dating
Can a woman be held liable for committing violation of
Yes. A lesbian partner/girlfriend or ex-lesbian partner/girlfriend can
also be held liable for committing act or a series of acts against
another woman with whom the lesbian has or had a sexual or
What is “battery”?
“Battery” refers to an act of inflicting physical harm upon the woman or her
child resulting to physical and psychological or emotional distress.
Battered Woman defined:
A battered woman is one who is repeatedly subjected to any forceful,
physical or psychological behavior by a man in order to coerce her to do
something he wants her to do without concern for her rights.
TO BE CLASSIFIED AS SUCH, the couple must go through the
battling cycle at least TWICE. Any woman may find herself in an abusive
relationship with a man once. IF IT OCCURS again, and she remains in
the situation, she is defined as a battered woman.
Cycle of Violence
(An Overview People v Genosa GR 135981)
Tension Building Phase
Minor battering occurs – verbal, physical abuse or other form of hostile behavior.
The woman tries to pacify the batterer but this placatory/ passive behavior only
legitimizes the man’s belief that he has the right to abuse her. At some point, the
violence gets out of control and leads to:
Acute Battering Incident
Brutal and destructive violence that could lead to death.
Tranquil, Loving Phase
This is when Acute Battering Incident ends. During this period, the couple
experience profound relief. The batterer may show tender, nurturing behavior
towards his partner.
How is “stalking” defined?
“Stalking” refers to an intentional act committed by a person who,
knowingly and without lawful justification, follows the woman or her
child, or places the woman or her child under surveillance directly or
indirectly or a combination thereof.
What is “sexual relations”?
“Sexual relations” refers to a single sexual act which may or may not
result in the bearing of a common child.
How is “dating relationship” defined?
“Dating relationship” refers to a situation wherein the parties live as
husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or are romantically
involved overtime and on a continuing basis during the course of the
relationship. A casual acquaintance or ordinary socialization
between two individuals in a business or social context is not a
"Notably, while it is required that the offender has or had a sexual
or dating relationship with the offended woman, for RA 9262 to
be applicable, it is not indispensable that the act of violence be a
consequence of such relationship. Nowhere in the law can such
limitation be inferred. Hence, applying the rule on statutory
construction that when the law does not distinguish, neither
should the courts, then, clearly, the punishable acts refer to all
acts of violence against women with whom the offender has or
had a sexual or dating relationship. As correctly ruled by the RTC,
it is immaterial whether the relationship had ceased for as long as
there is sufficient evidence showing the past or present existence
of such relationship between the offender and the victim when
the physical harm was committed."
Dabalos v. RTC, Branch 59, Angeles City, G.R. No. 193960, January
RA 9262; violence against women and children; leniency in favor of
accused due to ambiguity of the law inapplicable.
The Supreme Court held that it cannot construe the statute in favor
of petitioner using the rule of leniency because there is no
ambiguity in RA 9262 that would necessitate any construction.
While the degree of physical harm under RA 9262 and Article 263 of
the Revised Penal Code are the same, there is sufficient justification
for prescribing a higher penalty for the former. Clearly, the
legislative intent is to purposely impose a more severe sanction on
the offenders whose violent act/s physically harm women with
whom they have or had a sexual or dating relationship, and/or their
children with the end in view of promoting the protection of women
Karlo Angelo Dabalos y San Diego v. Regional Trial Court, Branch
59,Angeles City, etc., et al, G.R. No. 193960, January 7, 2013.
What does “public crime” mean?
Any citizen who has personal knowledge of the crime can file a
Where is VAWC committed?
Violence against women and their children is committed within the
dwelling/abode or any other place outside thereof
What are the forms of VAWC?
Violence against women and their children can be described in
the following forms;
1) “Physical violence” which refers to acts that include bodily or physical
2) “Sexual violence” which refers to an act which is sexual in nature,
committed against a woman or her child.
3) “Psychological violence” which refers to acts or omissions causing or
likely to cause mental or emotional suffering of the victim”
4) “Economic abuse” which refers to acts that make or attempt to make a
woman financially dependent;
How is “sexual violence” committed?
b) sexual harassment;
c) acts of lasciviousness;
d) treating a woman or her child as a sex object;
e) making demeaning and sexually suggestive remarks;
f) physically attacking the sexual parts of the victim’s body;
g) forcing the woman or her child to watch obscene
h) forcing the woman or her child to do indecent acts and/or
make films thereof;
i) forcing the wife and mistress/lover to live in the conjugal
home or sleep together in the same room with the abuser;
j) causing or attempting to cause the victim to engage in any
sexual activity by force, threat of force, physical or other
harm or threat of physical or other harm or coercion;
k) Prostituting the woman or her child;
How is “psychological violence” committed?
A. Psychological violence is committed in the following manner;
d) damage to property;
e) public ridicule or humiliation;
f) repeated verbal abuse;
g) marital infidelity;
h) causing or allowing the victim to witness the physical, sexual
or psychological abuse of a member of the family to which the
i) causing or allowing the victim to witness pornography in any
j) causing or allowing the victim to witness abusive injury to
k) unlawful or unwanted deprivation of the right to custody
and/or visitation of common children.
How is “economic abuse” committed?
Economic abuse can be committed in the following manner:
a) withdrawal of financial support or preventing the victim from
engaging in any legitimate profession, occupation, business or
activity, except in cases wherein the other spouse/partner objects on
valid, serious and moral grounds as defined in Article 72 of the
b) deprivation or threat of deprivation of financial resources and the
rights to the use and enjoyment of the conjugal, community or
property owned in common;
c) destroying household property;
d) controlling the victim’s own money or properties or solely controlling
the conjugal money or properties.
What are the penalties imposed for the crime of VAWC?
Section 6, RA 9262 provides the following: “Penalties – the crime of
Violence Against Women and their Children under Section 5
hereof shall be punished according to the following rules:
(a) Acts falling under Section 5 (a) constituting attempted,
frustrated or consummated parricide or murder or homicide shall be
punished in accordance with the provisions of the Revised Penal
code. If these act resulted in mutilation, it shall be punishable in
accordance with the Revised Penal code; those constituting serious
physical injuries shall have the penalty of prision mayor; those
constituting less serious physical injuries shall be punished by prision
correccional; and those constituting slight physical injuries shall be
punished by arresto mayor.
Acts falling under Section 5 (b) shall be punished by imprisonment of two (2)
degrees lower than the prescribed penalty for the consummated crime as specified
in the preceding paragraph but shall in no case be lower than arresto mayor.
a) Acts falling under Section 5 (c) and (d) shall be punished by
b) Acts falling under Section 5 (e) shall be punished by prision
c) Acts falling under Section 5 (f) shall be punished by arresto
d) Acts falling under Section 5 (g) shall be punished by prision
f) Acts falling under Section 5 (h) and Section 5 (i) shall be punished
by prision mayor.”
What is the prescriptive period for VAWC cases?
Acts falling under Section 5 (a) to 5 (f) shall prescribe in twenty (20) years. Acts
falling under Sections 5 (g) to 5 (i) shall prescribe in (10) years.
What if the woman or her child is pregnant, how is the penalty imposed?
If the acts are committed while the woman or her child is pregnant, the penalty to
be applied shall be the maximum period of penalty prescribed in Section 6.
What if the acts are committed in the presence of the woman’s child?
If the acts are committed in the presence of the woman’s child, the penalty to be
applied shall be the maximum period of penalty prescribed in Section 6.
What is the fine imposed on the offender of VAWC?
In addition to imprisonment, the perpetrator shall;
a) pay a fine in the amount of not less than One Hundred
Thousand Pesos ( P 100,000.00) but not more than Three
Hundred Thousand Pesos (P 300,000.00)
b) undergo mandatory psychological counseling or
psychiatric treatment and shall report compliance to the court.
Where can VAWC be filed?
The Regional Trial Court (RTC) designated as Family Court shall have original
and exclusive jurisdiction over cases of violence against women and their
children under RA 9262. In the absence of court in the place where the
offense was committed, the complainant has the option to file the case in the
Regional Trial Court where the crime or any of its element was committed.
How Is “Protection Order” Defined?
A protection order is an order issued under RA 9262 for the purpose of
preventing further act of violence against a woman or a child specified in
Section 5 of the law and granting other necessary relief.
What are the protection orders that may be issued under RA
The following protection orders may be issued accordingly;
a) Barangay Protection Order (BPO), issued by the Punong
Barangay, or in his or her absence, any available Barangay
Kagawad. It is effective within fifteen (15) days.
b) Temporary Protection Order (TPO), issued by the court and
is effective within thirty (30) days;
c) Permanent Protection Order (PPO), issued by the court after
notice and hearing.
Who may file petition for Protection Orders?
a) A petition for protection order may be filed by any of the following:
b) victim or offended party;
c) parents or guardian of the offended party;
d) ascendants, descendants or collateral relatives within fourth civil degree of
consanguinity or affinity;
e) officers or social workers of the DSWD or social workers of Local Government
f) police officers preferably those in-charge of Women and Children’s Protection
g) Punong Barangay or Barangay Kagawad;
h) Lawyer, counselor, therapist or health care provider of the petitioner
i) At least two (2) concerned responsible citizens of the city or municipality
where the violence against women and their children occurred and who have
personal knowledge of the offense committed.
How to apply for a Protection Order?
The application for a protection order must be in writing signed
and verified under oath by the victim. A standard application
form, written in English with translation to the major local
languages, shall contain, among others, the following information:
a) names and addresses of petitioner and respondent;
b) description of relationships between petitioner and respondent;
c) a statement of the circumstances of the abuse;
d) description of the relief requested by petitioner;
e) request for a counsel and reasons for such;
f) request for a waiver of application fees until hearing; and
g) in attestation that there is no pending application for a
protection order in another court.
What if the application of the Protection Order is not the victim?
If the applicant is not the victim the application must be accompanied by
an affidavit of the applicant attesting to
a) the circumstances of the abuse suffered by the victim; and
b) the circumstance of consent given by the victim for filing of application.
When disclosure of the address of the victim will pose danger to her life,
its shall be so stated in the application.
What are reliefs provided in the issuance of Protection Order?
The Barangay Chairperson has the power to provide the following reliefs:
a) prohibit the respondent from threatening to commit or committing,
personally or through another, any of the acts mentioned in Section 5 or
b) prohibit the respondent from harassing, annoying, telephoning,
contacting or otherwise communicating with the petitioner directly or
On the other hand, the court has the power to provide any, some, or all of
the following reliefs:
a) Prohibition of the respondent from threatening to commit or
committing personally, or through another, any of the acts
mentioned in Section 5 of RA 9262;
b) Prohibition of respondent from harassing, annoying,
telephoning, contacting or otherwise communicating with the
petitioner directly or indirectly;
c) Removal and exclusion of the respondent from the residence
of the petitioner, regardless of ownership of the residence,
either temporarily for the purpose of protecting the petitioner,
or permanently where no property rights are violated;
d) Directing the respondent to stay away from petitioner and any
designated family or household member at a distance specified
by the court, and to stay away from the residence, school, place
or employment, or any specified place frequented by the
petitioner any designated family as household member;
e) Directing lawful possession and used by petitioner by an
automobile and other essential personal effects, regardless
of ownership and directing the appropriate law enforcement
officer to accompany the petitioner to the residence of the
parties to ensure that the petitioner is safely restored to the
possession of the automobile and other essential personal
effects or to supervise the petitioner or respondent’s
removal of personal belongings;
f) Granting a temporary or permanent custody of a
child/children to the petitioner;
g) Directing the respondent to provide support to the woman or
her child if entitled to legal support. Notwithstanding other
laws to the contrary the court shall order an appropriate
percentage of the income or salary of the respondent to
withheld regularly by the respondent’s employer and for the
same to be automatically remitted directly to the woman.
h) Prohibition of the respondent from any use or possession
of any firearm or deadly weapon and order him to
surrender the same to the court for appropriate
dispossession by the court, including the renovation of
license and disqualification to apply for any license to use
or possess a firearm.
i) Restitution for actual damages cased by the violence
inflicted including, but not limited to property damage,
medical expenses, childcare expenses and loss of income;
j) Directing the DSWD or any appropriate agency to provide
the petitioner temporary shelter and other social services
that the petitioner may need; and
k) Provision of such other forms of relief as the court deems
necessary to protect and provide for the safety of the
petitioner ad any designated family or household member,
provided petitioner and any designated family or
household member consents to such relief.
What if the respondent fails to remit and/or withhold or delay
remittance of support to the woman and/or her child, what
sanction will be imposed?”
If the failure or withholding or delay of the remittance is without
justifiable cause, it shall render the respondent or his employer liable
for indirect contempt of court.
If the offender is a law enforcement agent, how is he prohibited
from possession of his firearm after the protection order is
The court shall order the offender to surrender his firearm and shall
direct the appropriate authority to investigate on the offender and take
appropriate action on the matter.
How can respondent remove his personal effects from the
residence after the protection order is issued?
If respondent has to remove personal effects from the residence, the
court shall direct a law enforcement agent to accompany the
respondent to the residence, remain there until respondent has
gathered his things and escort respondent from the residence.
Is there a need for a decree of legal separation or annulment or
declaration of absolute nullity of marriage before any of the reliefs is
No. Any of the reliefs as provided shall be granted even in the absence of
a decree of legal separation or annulment or declaration of absolute
nullity of marriage.
What is the purpose of the relief granted under a protection order?
The relief granted under a protection should serve the purpose of
safeguarding the victim from further harm, minimizing any disruption in
the victim’s family daily life, and facilitating the opportunity and ability of
the victim to independently regain control over her life.
What should the Barangay Officials do when the victim or any
authorized person applies for a BPO?
When the victim or any authorized person applies for BPO, the barangay
officials should do the following:
a) Take the “salaysay” or statement under oath of the
victim/applicant. Be sure the date of commission of the
offense, place and a specific circumstances are in the
b) Allow a non-lawyer advocate to be with the victim during the
c) Do not allow the respondent/offender to be present during
the ex-parte proceedings.
d) Issue the BPO on the same day of application.
e) Assist the victim/applicant in applying for a Temporary
Protection Order with the court as soon as possible.
f) Serve the BPO on the respondent.
g) If the BPO is violated, file a criminal case for violation of RA
9262 in the Municipal Trial Court or Municipal Circuit Trial
Court. Penalty is thirty (30) days of imprisonment.
Can the Barangay Officials mediate or conciliate?
No. Conciliation and mediation of acts of violence against women and
their children are not allowed under this law. A Punong Barangay,
Barangay Kagawad or the court hearing an application for a protection
order shall not order, direct, force or in any way unduly influence the
applicant for a protection order to compromise or abandon any of the
reliefs sought in the application for a protection order. Failure to comply
shall render the official or judge administratively liable. (Sec 33, RA
Is counseling and treatment of offenders allowed under the law?
Yes. The DSWD shall provide rehabilitative counseling and treatment to
perpetrators towards learning constructive ways of coping with anger
and emotional outburst and reforming their ways. When necessary, the
offender shall be ordered by the Court to submit to psychiatric treatment
Is there a penalty for not enforcing the TPOs and PPOs?
Yes. Violation is punishable with a fine ranging from five thousand pesos
(P 5,000.00) to Fifty Thousand Pesos (P50,000.00) and/or imprisonment
of six (6) months.
After the issuance of TPO, what comes next?
The court shall schedule a hearing on the issuance of a PPO prior to or
on the date of the expiration of the TPO. The TPO shall include notice of
the date of the hearing on the merits of issuance of a PPO.
How many days should the hearing on the merits of issuance of
PPO be held?
The court shall conduct the hearing on the merits of the issuance of a
PPO in one (1) day. Where the court is unable to conduct the hearing
within one (1) day and the TPO issued is due to expire, the court shall
continuously extend or renew until the final judgment is issued. The
extended or renewed TPO may be modified by the court as may be
necessary or applicable to address the needs of the applicant.
Until when is the PPO considered effective?
A PPO shall be effective until revoked by a court upon application of the
person in whose favor the order was issued. The court shall ensure
immediate personal service of the PPO on respondent.
How is the issuance of protection order prioritized?
Ex parte and adversarial hearings to determine the basis of the
applications for a protection order shall have priority over all other
proceedings. Barangay officials and the courts shall schedule and
conduct hearings on application for a protection order above all other
business and if necessary, suspend other proceedings in order to hear
application for a protection order.
What is the “confidentiality” rule under the law?
All records pertaining to cases of VAWC including those in the barangay shall be
confidential and all public officers and employees and public and private clinics or
hospitals shall respect the right to privacy of the victim. Whoever publishes or
causes to be published, in any format, the name, address, telephone number,
school, business address, employer, or other identifying information of a victim or
an immediate family member, without the latter’s consent, shall be liable to the
contempt power of the court.
“Pursuant to Section 44 of Republic Act (RA) No. 9262, otherwise known as the Anti-Violence
Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004, and Section 63, Rule XI of the Rules and Regulations
Implementing RA 9262, the real name of the child-victim is withheld to protect his/her privacy. Fictitious
initials are used instead to represent him/her. Likewise, the personal circumstances or any other
information tending to establish or compromise his/her identity, as well as those of his/her immediate
family or household members shall not be disclosed.”
What is the penalty imposed for violation of “confidentiality” rule?
Any person who violates confidentiality of VAWC cases shall suffer the penalty of
one (1) year imprisonment and a fine of not more than Five Hundred Thousand
What is the Inter-Agency Council of Violence Against Women and
Their Children (IAC-VAWC)?
The IAC-VAWC is an inter-agency body tasked to formulate programs and projects
to eliminate VAW based on their mandates as well as develop capability programs
for their employees to become more sensitive to the needs of their clients. The
Council will also serve as the monitoring body as regards to VAW initiatives. It
shall be composed of the following agencies:
a) Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
b) National Commission on the Role of Filipino Women (NCRFW)
c) Civil Service Commission (CSC)
d) Commission on Human Rights (CHR)
e) Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC)
f) Department of Justice; (DOJ)
g) Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG);
h) Philippine National Police (PNP);
i) Department of Health (DOH);
j) Department of Education (DepEd);
k) Department of Labor and Employment (DOLE); and
l) National Bureau of Investigation (NBI)