Albert Francis E. Domingo, MD

my flight of ideas

Violence Against Women

Posted on | October 23, 2009 | No Comments

There is a rather graphic and outright sickening video (you’ll have to be logged-in at Facebook) of an asian woman being repeatedly assaulted by what appears to be her estranged boyfriend. What’s doubly appalling is that the incident takes place at the curb of a busy street, with other women in the area visibly making such feeble attempts at halting the incident. Some passersby would just glance but then move on. The video is so sickening that it violates the terms-of-use conditions of several media-sharing websites, so I couldn’t upload it directly here. I can however show you a screenshot below.

Roundhouse kick

Ever since I posted that clip on my FB wall, contacts have been furiously reacting. Opinions based on the comments so far posted indicate that the boyfriend is sick, that he deserves the death penalty, and that he deserves to get some roundhouse kicks himself. Other friends reacted in disbelief, sincerely hoping (as I do) that the acts depicted in the video are just stunts.

One comment had me thinking: “…bakla yan…”, in reference to the kicking and punching boyfriend. Admittedly wrong gender prejudice aside, that contact of mine surely shot the derogatory retort drawing from the outwardly patriarchal (male-dominated) yet inwardly matricentric (female-centered) Filipino culture. UP Medical Anthropologist Michael Tan in one of his columns declared:

“Let’s face it, although the Philippines is patriarchal, with men as the head of the family, we are also matricentric, meaning women play important roles in our lives, both in the private or domestic sphere, and in public life.”

(emphasis supplied)

A former colleague in the UP Student Council observed that perhaps where the depicted group comes from, their culture tolerates the acts committed, hence explaining why the battered woman’s other companions and the bystanders did not do anything significant to stop the physical assault. Nevertheless, he added being the Filipino that he is, even if that were in a different cultural area and he happens to have witnessed it, he would have done something to stop the outrage.

In Philippine jurisdiction, apart from the multiple violations to the Revised Penal Code as regards inflicting injuries upon another person, the estranged boyfriend can perhaps be charged with criminal liability under Republic Act No. 9262, or the “Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004”.

Photo from

Interestingly in recent developments, the same law was invoked by an investigating panel of prosecutors in the Philippine Department of Justice to file a court case against Dr. Hayden Kho, Jr. related to a sex video scandal involving him and actress Katrina Halili. Part of the news report reads:

“Government prosecutors charged Kho Thursday [October 22, 2009] with violation of Republic Act 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004, for secretly videotaping his tryst with Halili and later causing her “mental distress and anguish” when the video came out in public.”

Prosecution of the case notwithstanding, it is good to know that in our country and in this particular situation of  violence against women, there is what appears to be a natural instinct to abhor the deed, as reflected in legislation that not only penalizes physical assaults upon lady victims but also the psychological kind as well.

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