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ENGLISH PANEL DISCUSSION ABOUT DOMESTIC VIOLENCE

Instructor: Pauline Dejos


Moderator: Vanisah Pacatua
Panelists: Christian Corbita
Eliezar Fariola
Faith Florenosos
Glemer Rivera
Darlyn Naparate

Pauline: A very jolly day everyone! This morning we are about to witness a panel discussion
about domestic violence in our country, Philippines. Now let’s give it up for this
panel’s moderator, Vanisah Pacatua!

Vanisah: Once again, good morning ladies and gentlemen. Domestic violence is a phenomenon
which cripples the family and leaves its members mentally and emotionally scarred. It
can be defined as physical, sexual, and psychological violence in the family. It may be
classified as wife battering, wife assault, woman abuse, marital violence, wife cruelty,
and family violence. And we are here to discuss this matter with our panellists that are
professionals from different learning fields.

Our first panellist is from the Philippine National Police, he is a director general of the
bureau of corrections and he is also a former lieutenant and Cebu police chief. Now I
introduce to you, Chief Christian Marc Corbita.

Our next panellist is a veteran lawyer and was an associate justice and sat as the acting
chief justice of the supreme court. He became a lawyer at the age of 24, graduated at
Harvard university and has won a perfect win record with his past cases. Let’s welcome
Atty. Eliezar Fariola.

Our third panellist is a graduate at the University of the Philippines. She is a doctor of
philosophy in psychology, she is the first woman to get her doctor’s degree and become
a psychologist at a young age. Let’s welcome Dr. Faith Florenosos.
The next panellist is an officer in charge from the Department of Social Welfare and
Development, she is an advocate of human rights. She mastered social science and
graduated at Ateneo de Manila. Let’s give it up for Miss Darlyn Naparate

And lastly, the next panellist is a nun from Colegio de la Concordia de Manila. She is
a part of the Missionary Sisters of the Immaculate Heart of Mary. She is also a founding
member of the rural missionaries of the Philippines. Let’s welcome Sister Glemer
Rivera.

Vanisah: Panellists, you may now take your seats. So now, I’ll ask each and every one of you,
what are your views and experiences about this matter? Let’s start with you Chief
Christian.

Christian: We all know that domestic violence is abuse among the family members. But most
cases of this matter are abused and battered wives. Keeping domestic violence a secret
can be a burden for most women but in this case, often battered wives kept it a secret
because she wants the family to stay together or loves her husband very much. Me as a
police, I have encountered many married men that are often on drugs, alcohol and other
addicting stuff that results him being abusive in his home and it is the PNP’s duty to
make sure that husband gets his penalty… in jail.

Eliezar: According to Republic Act Number 9262, or also known as The Anti Violence against
Women and their Children Act of 2004 is a protection order that states an order issued
for the purpose of preventing further acts of violence against a woman or her child and
granting other necessary relief. It indicates that whosoever commits violence in their
own home, may it be the parents or the teenage children will be punished by law and is
therefore granted a penalty. The wife may file an annulment against the abusive husband
and will settle it in the courtroom. It is my duty as a lawyer to save an abused client.

Flor: I am a doctor of psychology and a wife to a loving husband. I’ve had many cases with
abused wives and have them a series of consultations 2-3 times a week. And I’ve found
out that the causes of domestic violence involve psychological issues that must be dealt
with in order to stop the cycle of abuse. Being challenged by a relationship partner can
be distressing, arousing fear and anger for some people. These instances, whether they
are experiencing an insult, a perceived threat, or an extreme provocation, both men and
women who engage in domestic violence are very often acting on their critical inner
voice. This voice is a destructive thought process in which people are telling themselves
negative things about themselves and their partners.

Say [The more person listens to these thoughts, the more they feed feelings being
wronged and of needing to retaliate, sometimes escalating to the point of becoming
violent] if asked to elaborate further.

Darlyn: Wife-beating is also a violation of the woman’s human rights. As a personnel of the
Department of Social Welfare and Development, each should be aware of the Senate Bill
731 by Senator Gloria Arroyo which increases penalties for habitual wife-beaters. It
provides comprehensive government services for the victim including round the clock
shelter and protection from the DSWD. Information, resources and support services and
counselling for the abusive spouse, training on how to handle cases of domestic violence
for police and concerned government officials.

Glemer: Domestic abuse could include physical, emotional, psychological, sexual and financial
abuse. Not only domestic abuse violates the law but it also neglects the words and gospel
readings of the Bible. According to Ephesians 5:28-29, “Husbands ought to love their
own bodies, he who loves his wife loves himself. For no one ever hated his own flesh,
but nourishes and cherishes it, just as the Lord does the church.” It is clear that God
opposes those who oppress, marginalize and abuse others. The Bible views all forms of
domestic violence as a sin, including verbal abuse and it exhorts us to protect ourselves
from violent people. It is clear that domestic violence is wrong no matter where you look
at it.

Vanisah: What if we don’t get domestic violence under control, what is the future going to be
like? What is your personal view as a Filipino citizen?

Flor: Well, as a mother and a wife. If there is domestic violence occurring in the family, it could
affect my child’s development. It could develop behavioural problems, such as
regressing, exhibiting out of control behaviour, and limiting behaviour.
Eliezar: When I was a kid, my parents used to fight a lot and there was point where I thought that
violence is acceptable of intimate relationship within this household. But with
consultation from the church, I have realized the violence is wrong. So yes, domestic
violence could make a big impact in our lives and affects the people around us on the way
they live.

Glemer: Not only that, but it could also lower the human rights of women to fight back if more
violence has occurred.

Vanisah: Let’s talk more about their children. What would happen to them if the couple will get
annulled or divorced?

Eliezar: The new family code provides custody of children under 7 years shall go to the mother.
If the man is the cause of legal separation, all minor children under 18 shall go to the
woman. If the petition is for annulment or a declaration of absolute nullity, the court
decides on child custody and will tend to favour the woman if the cause of the petition is
domestic violence. The abused woman may ask for child support. In legal separation, the
man may even lose some rights over property.

Vanisah: If abusive husbands aren’t willing to change, how hard will it for the government
officials to deal with it?

Chief: If the husband wouldn’t be willing to change his bad habits, the whole family could suffer
from financial problems because he couldn’t perform well. We could deal with it by
making his penalty worse like lifetime imprisonment or a huge decrease of salary.

Darlyn: Well, we could organize the community to monitor violent spouses and come to the aid
of battered women. Local police, barangay officials and medics can be trained on a more
caring and sensitive way to deal with the women.

Glemer: Or you could simply listen and guide the woman towards available services to help them
rebuild their shattered lives.

Vanisah: But isn’t domestic violence, in fact a “private matter” between couples?
Christian: The right to privacy gives no one the right to hurt anybody, least of all members of his
or her family. Our law enforcers are also sworn to protect people from crime and physical
harm wherever it is coming from –strangers or relatives alike.

Eliezar: Wife-beating is also a violation of the woman’s human rights. The United Nations
Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everybody has the right to life, liberty,
and security of person, and that no one shall be a subject to torture or to cruel, inhuman
or degrading treatment.

Darlyn: During the recent international conference on human rights, woman activists called
attention to rape, wife-beating, sexual assault and other violence against women as hidden
and often ignored human right violation.

Vanisah: Is there a way of predicting or identifying men who are potential abusers?

Faith: Unfortunately, there is none. Any man, regardless of income, profession, age, or race can
be abusive. However cases handled by Mr. Atty. Eliezar Fariola, show that the typical
wife abusers are usually married, aged 25-39, professionals, skilled workers, and
unemployed or skilled workers. Some are often lucid or not drunk while abusing their
spouses.

Vanisah: But why do most battered women go back to their spouses after taking the first crucial
step of reporting the violence?

Glemer: Because the cycle of domestic violence lulls them into thinking that the man has changed
for the better. Many men have confessed their sins in church and have shown the remorse
phase and woo their wives anew.

Vanisah: If the situation is that bad, why don’t battered women leave their abusive partners?

Glemer: Again, cultural factors are at work. The ideal wife and mother role foisted on women
dictates that they must endure domestic violence to keep family together and for as long
as the husband is responsible and hardworking.

Vanisah: If so, what are the commonly cited reasons as to why women stay in abusive
relationships?
Darlyn: She thinks the man might still change for the better, she still loves the man despite
everything.

Faith: She can’t abide a broken family, she’s doing it for her children or probably she can’t
support the children by herself.

Christian: She is afraid of what the husband might do to her, or the guy might take their kids.

Eliezar: To maintain the good reputation of the man, or the wife pities the man because no one
understands him but only her.

Glemer: She’s afraid to be alone and lonely. She could have a mind-set or grew up thinking that
pleasing men is a woman’s responsibility. It could also be that she’s used to the beating
and will miss it.

Vanisah: Now let’s have the audience ask our panellists here if ever they have made some points
unclear.

*audience asks*

Vanisah: To summarize this topic, domestic violence is now commonly defined broadly to include
"all acts of physical, sexual, psychological or economic violence" that may be committed
by a family member or intimate partner. But in most cases, married women are often the
victim. Domestic abusers could be anyone you know. So you should be aware of your
surroundings and immediately help the abused if you know one.

That’s right, I really appreciate all of you guys’ comments today about domestic
violence and I hope this discussion makes you all aware how severe violence can be. So
I thank you guys for being here today.