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January 28, 2016



Mag Gillo
Japhet Kenn Vallera
226/336-Social Ethics


Violence Against Women

The purpose of this paper is to enlighten us about the situation of
women in the country. Women are experiencing discrimination, gender
inequality, physical, emotional, and psychological abuse. This paper also
gives a proposal specifically to the church on how they should act and
contribute in responding to the victims of violence against women. As a
community of faith, this gives the opportunity to see their role and function
to the people who are experiencing victims of this kind of violence in the
light of the gospel mandated by Christ.
Factual information
Violence against women (VAW) appears as one of the countrys
pervasive social problems. According to the 2008 National Demographic
and Health Survey conducted by the National Statistics Office, one in five
Filipino women age 15-49 has experienced physical violence since age 15. It
is indeed alarming that despite efforts to address the concern, VAW
As we see in every situation, women are experiencing different kinds
of abuse from their partners, working environment, community, and even in
the church. In our society, traditionally, people think that men are the
leaders, pursuers, providers, and they take on dominant roles while women
are nurturers, mens companion and supporters, and on subordinate roles in
society. There are always unequal rights between women and men. Women
are always under the power of men, and because of this perception, it leads
to the mind of people that the men has a right and power to control women.
Women are perceived to be the cause of their own misery and men
still blame them for having negative reactions such as the following; In the
home, some women are accused of being naggers or neglectful of their
duties as wife that is why they are beaten by their spouses. Rape is
sometimes attributed to a raped womans flirtatious ways. A woman filing


for sexual harassment, in some instances is blamed for being malicious by

interpreting her employers appreciation of her good looks.2
Those are the things that women experienced in their homes that
people did not usually seen because it is secretly performed by their
partner. These are just some of the realities that contribute to the
vulnerability of Filipino women or even in the world. The problem is that
women lack concrete knowledge on how to deal with their feelings of being
abused because they fear that they will be abandoned, as they were
conditioned to think about their partner, if they make a complaints against
their oppressor. They are ashamed to tell their experiences because they
feel that it is shameful for their family. That is why they just choose to be
silent than filing complaints.
The United Nations Declaration on the Elimination of Violence Against
Women (United Nations 1993) defines the term violence against women as:
Any act of gender based violence that results in, or is likely to result in,
physical, sexual or psychological harm or suffering to women including
threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether
occurring in public or in private life.
The government has also already passed a law about this kind of
abuse, it is the REPUBLIC ACT NO. 9262 AN ACT DEFINING
known as the Anti Violence Against Women and their Children Act of
2004. Under this law are the definition of terms on how the act of a person
to a woman became an abuse, and also the kinds of violence done to them.
In section 3 Definition of Terms. - As used in this Act:
(a) "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, or against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual
or dating relationship, or with whom he has a common child, or 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. It includes,
but is not limited to, the following acts:
A. "Physical Violence" refers to acts that include bodily or physical harm;
B. "Sexual violence" refers to an act which is sexual in nature, committed
against a woman or her child. It includes, but is not limited to:


a) Rape, sexual harassment, acts of lasciviousness, treating a woman

or her child as a sex object, making demeaning and sexually
suggestive remarks, physically attacking the sexual parts of the
victim's body, forcing her/him to watch obscene publications and
indecent shows or forcing the woman or her child to do indecent acts
and/or make films thereof, forcing the wife and mistress/lover to live
in the conjugal home or sleep together in the same room with the
b) Acts 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;
c) Prostituting the woman or child.
C. "Psychological violence" refers to acts or omissions causing or likely to
cause mental or emotional suffering of the victim such as but not limited to
intimidation, harassment, stalking, damage to property, public ridicule or
humiliation, repeated verbal abuse and mental infidelity. It includes causing
or allowing the victim to witness the physical, sexual or psychological abuse
of a member of the family to which the victim belongs, or to witness
pornography in any form or to witness abusive injury to pets or to unlawful
or unwanted deprivation of the right to custody and/or visitation of common
D. "Economic abuse" refers to acts that make or attempt to make a
woman financially dependent which includes, but is not limited to the
1. 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 73 of the Family
2. Deprivation or threat of deprivation of financial resources and the
right to the use and enjoyment of the conjugal, community or property
owned in common;
3. Destroying household property;
4. Controlling the victims' own money or properties or solely
controlling the conjugal money or properties.
(b) "Battery" refers to an act of inflicting physical harm upon the woman
or her child resulting to the physical and psychological or emotional
(c) "Battered Woman Syndrome" refers to a scientifically defined pattern
of psychological and behavioral symptoms found in women living in
battering relationships as a result of cumulative abuse.
(d) "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.

(e) "Dating relationship" refers to a situation wherein the parties live as

husband and wife without the benefit of marriage or are romantically
involved over time 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 dating relationship.
(f) "Sexual relations" refers to a single sexual act which may or may not
result in the bearing of a common child.
(g) "Safe place or shelter" refers to any home or institution maintained or
managed by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or
by any other agency or voluntary organization accredited by the DSWD for
the purposes of this Act or any other suitable place the resident of which is
willing temporarily to receive the victim.
(h) "Children" refers to those below eighteen (18) years of age or older but
are incapable of taking care of themselves as defined under Republic Act
No. 7610. As used in this Act, it includes the biological children of the victim
and other children under her care.
Ethical Analysis
Deontological Approach
We all know that doing something bad or any harmful action that
would cause injury/damage to anyone is basically wrong. When it comes to
issues of abuses involving women, we are not that fully aware of what is the
real story behind every mistreated woman and even what they are going
through. We might suspect so many things about the abuses but one thing is
for sure, that in any abuses there are those vulnerable individuals that
suffers from this unrighteous acts and worst prefers to keep their story in
silent. When we talk about rape this issue is basically a very familiar issue
to us, an issue that is not new to us, and an issue that definitely needs to be
address. Does every woman deserved to be mistreated or do they deserved
to suffer from any kind of abuses? Does every woman deserved to be raped?
Should we let this thing happen to our children, sister, cousins, mothers,
aunts and even our grandmothers? Certainly not, we are exposing you to
the realities of the abuses that are actually happening in Dumaguete and in
many places in the country. Abuses in the Philippines are rampantly
increasing each year particularly rape and this thing should be stop for it is
not right to do such thing.
The Deontological approach provides us an essential consideration in
looking into the issue of rape more deeply and to bring up not just
awareness but also to formulate actions in this particular issue.
Deontological approach, unlike the teleological approach focuses more on
the sense of duty. The specific duty of a moral agent or the means and the

intention regardless of the consequence whether to good or bad. Now,

when we go back to the issue of rape, rape is something that is actually
immoral, unlawful, and a violation of human rights. Forcefully raping
someone is a sign of a disrespectful act. We all know for a fact that it is not
right to force a woman or child to engage with such action. As person, the
intention of raping is itself a choice, a choice whether to do it or not. By this
a person is actually aware of his duty as a moral being. Now, a person who
has raped someone is actually aware what he was doing regardless of the
outcome of the action. A person should know his responsibility as a moral
being a choice between doing something that is harmful to a woman or
avoiding such action to be done. The means of raping someone is wrong
regardless of the intention whether it is good or bad.
Biblical Reference
Scriptures contain story after story of violence against women: e.g.
Dinah (Genesis 34), Tamar (2 Samuel 13), the Levite's concubine (Judges
19), Jephthah's daughter (Judges 11), Vashti (Esther 1), Suzannah (Daniel
13), and probably the persistent widow in Luke's Gospel (Luke 18) 2.Later
Christian texts also condone male violence against women and the
domination of women. For example, the right of chastisement was the
enforcer of women's subordination in marriage. In the "Rules of Marriage"
compiled by Friar Cherubino in the 15 th century (Bussert, 1986) we find
the careful instruction to a husband to first reprimand his wife; "And if this
still doesn't worktake up a stick and beat her soundlyfor it is better to
punish the body and correct the soul than to damage the soul and spare the
body" (p. 13).
Unfortunately, many people justified their action by this passage "Wives
be subject to your husbands as you are to the Lord. For the husband is the
head of the wife just as Christ is the head of the church, the body of which
he is the Savior. Just as the church is subject to Christ, so also wives ought
to be, in everything, to their husbands" (Ephesians 5.22-24 NRSV). Either
by its silence or its instruction, the church has too often communicated that
women should stay in abusive relationships, try to be better wives, and
"forgive and forget." However, reading the text carefully and with integrity,
it does not only pertain to the responsibility of wives to their husband but it
also speaks of a husband that reflects a Christ-like quality; a Christ who is
loving and protecting as Christ loves the Church that even his life is ready
to be sacrificed for the love of His wife, the church. This will lead us in the
ideal husband where violence is not the way of treating and loving his wife
but to exemplify a humble and full understanding of the needs of his wife.
[alt] Gen 1 is the image of God about the doctrine of Creation

Another point of the Christian teaching is the life abundant for all
including women. in Jesus' ministry, he teaches: "The thief comes only to
steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it
abundantly" (John 10:10, NRSV).
Victimization is never God's will but
rather fullness of life. Jesus understood his ministry "to proclaim release to
the captives . . ." (Luke 4:18 quoting Isaiah 61, NRSV). He told the story of
the Good Samaritan to emphasize our responsibility to stop and care for the
victims. These are fundamental teachings through which other passages
must be interpreted in Christianity.
As Gods people, the church must strongly defend the right of women
for they are also Gods wonderful creation. It is no surprise that Church
teaching and affiliation provide a significant context for many women as
they address experiences of victimization through texts, traditions,
teachings, and doctrine, religious communities and institutions convey
values and belief systems to their members. In addition, members often
have direct support or counseling relationships with religious leaders who
may provide guidance or instruction. Religious texts and teachings can
serve as resources to assist those who have experienced abuse in finding
safety and in the process of healing. This is the role and obligation of the
church to help and fight the rights of our women in Dumaguete. As Pastors
and also people of God who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ, we affirm
the text, love one another is one of the greatest example to protect our
women against the people who tries to destroy their rights of being a
Galatians 3:26 29 For in Christ Jesus you are all sons of God,
through faith. For as many of you as were baptized into Christ have put on
Christ. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither slave nor free, there
is no male and female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus. And if you are
Christ's, then you are Abraham's offspring, heirs according to promise.
Recommendation to the Church as their Role in VAW

The church should participate in preventing the Violence against

Women by making a program that helps women to be brave and
educate them about their rights. As we observed those women was
victimized by this kind of abuse, they chose to remain silent rather
than to speak it and ask for help from the authority. I think the church
has edge in this kind of situations because people know that the
church is sacred and spiritual; the trust of the women is very high.

The church should be the first one to promote the equal rights
between men and women. The statement of faith of the United Church
of Christ in the Philippines calls us to participate in the
establishment of a meaningful and just social order. It means that the

church should actively do its role in promoting a human development

and uphold the dignity of women who are victims of the abuse
through educating the members during Sunday Schools and Bible

The church must provide a psychological and spiritual guidance for

the victims through Pastoral Care.