Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Psychological and emotional; crime of violence against women through harassment - Opinion, News, The Philippine Star |

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Randy still questioned the decision before the Supreme Court. He contended among others that a single act of harassment like the sending of the nude picture does not constitute violence against women especially in case of Ina with whom he merely had an “on-off relationship” which was not on a continuing basis. The relationship contemplated by the law implies a sexual act between them. Was Randy correct?
No, said the Supreme Court. Based on Section 3 in relation to Section 5 (h) (5) of RA 9262 the elements of the crime of violence against women through harassment are: (1) the offender has or had a sexual or dating relationship with the offended woman; (2) the offender, by himself or through another, commits an act or series of acts of harassment against the woman; and (3) the harassment alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to her.
In this case, even conceding Randy did not have any sexual intercourse with Ina, they still had a “dating relationship” which exists even without a sexual intercourse taking place between those involved. The off-on relationship between them does not mean that their romantic relation is broken up during periods of misunderstanding.
The single act of sending an offensive picture is also a form of harassment. Section 3 (a) punishes any “act or series of acts” that constitutes violence against women. The object of the law is to protect women and children. Punishing only violence repeatedly committed would license isolated ones. Here the naked woman on the picture, her legs spread open and bearing Ina’s head and face is clearly revolting and offensive to Ina who is not in the pornography trade. So Randy should be sentenced to prison for six years and one day to twelve years (Ang vs. Sagud, G.R. 182835, April 20, 2010).
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