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Wednesday, February 28, 2024

Lawmaker seeks amendment to law to protect ‘ander de saya’ husbands

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A first-term legislator on Monday filed a bill that seeks to amend the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act by expanding its coverage to “ander de saya” husbands and members of the LGBTQ+ who are also victims of domestic abuse and maltreatment.

“Ander de saya” is a term used for henpecked husbands who are also victims of domestic abuse.

In filing House Bill 1365,  Rep. Margarita “Migs” Nograles of the Puwersa ng Bayaning Atleta (PBA) party-list group said that domestic abuse is not an exclusive problem of women and children because there are also many cases where the victims are men who are either husbands or are gay partners.

Nograles, a lawyer, is the youngest daughter of the late former House Speaker Prospero Nograles.

“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,” said Nograles in her explanatory note.

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In her proposed “Domestic Violence Act of 2022”  Nograles seeks to expand the coverage of RA 9262 by inserting the gender-neutral word “partner” to include men and members of the LGBTQI+  aside from the words “women” and “children.”

Nograles wants to amend Section 2 (Declaration of Policy)  of  RA 9262 to read as follows:

“It is hereby declared that the State values the dignity of women and children and guarantees full respect for human rights. The State also recognizes the need to protect the family and its members, particularly women, PARTNERS, and children, from violence and threats to their personal safety and security,” the bill states.

“Towards this end, the State shall exert efforts to address violence committed against women, PARTNERS, and children in keeping the fundamental freedoms guaranteed under the Constitution and the provisions of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, Convention on the Rights of the Child and other international human rights instruments of which the Philippines is a party,” it added.

Nograles’ bill states that the term “partner” includes intimate relationships of husband, men, heterosexual, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, and the like.”

“Violence against women, PARTNERS, and their children” refers to any act or a series of acts committed by any person, their spouse, former spouse, PARTNER, FORMER PARTNER, or against any other person with whom they have or had a sexual or dating relationship, or who they have a common child, or against the other person’s child whether legitimate or illegitimate, within or without the family abode, which results 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,” the bills states in amending Section 3. a of  RA 9262.

According to Nograles, it is very important that laws against domestic violence should be designed to protect the interest and the welfare of everyone, regardless of one’s gender or gender preference.

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