Is the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 archaic?
According to the Philippine Statistics Authority, the Philippine National Police indicated in a February 2020 report that there were 2,162 rape cases reported to the police in 2019, 30.6 percent higher than the 1,656 cases reported in 2018.
In June, Gabriela reported that there were 3,700 reports of violence against women during the two-month enhanced community quarantine, with rape being the third most reported crime. The Philippine Commission on Women added that although these numbers are alarming, underreporting remains the norm. With these statistics, can we say that the Anti-Rape Law of 1997 (Republic Act 8353) has been effective in protecting rape survivors?
The Women’s Legal and Human Rights Bureau, Inc. (WLB) invites you to answer this question (and help make changes to the law) at its event called “Women and Girl-Children’s Access to Justice: Consultation on the Amendment to the Anti-Rape Law of 1997.” On Nov. 19 at 8:30 am to 12:30 pm, you can join the conversation with advocates pushing for the end of rape culture and gender discrimination.
Bukas ng umaga, samahan ninyo kami sa konsultasyon sa Anti-Rape Law. Ito ang link: https://bluejeans.com/3694513012
The lead discussants in the consultation are attorney Krissi Shaffina Twyla Rubin of WLB, prosecutor Elnora Nombrado of the Department of Justice, psychiatrist and trauma expert Dr. June Pagaduan-Lopez and attorney May Zyra Cuevas of the Philippine Commission on Women. Attorney Jaye dela Cruz-Bekema from the Office of Senator Risa Hontiveros will also be taking part in the conversation as the reactor.
For the consultation, the speakers and the attendees will be discussing the proposed amendments to the law which are as follows:
- Consent as a central element of rape, including increasing the age of statutory rape
- Inclusion of a statutory provision on incest rape
- Establishment of rape crisis centers
Need a refresher on what constitutes as rape under the law’s provision? According to the law, “rape is committed:
- By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:
- Through force, threat, or intimidation;
- When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious;
- By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority; and
- When the offended party is under 12 years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.
2. By any person who, under any of the circumstances mentioned in paragraph one hereof, shall commit an act of sexual assault by inserting his penis into another person’s mouth or anal orifice, or any instrument or object, into the genital or anal orifice of another person.”
Two of the most glaring observations we can make about the law is how it fails to consider that men aren’t the only people who commit the crime and that rape is a violation that isn’t exclusive to penetrative or oral sex. Join the event to make your thoughts on the subject known.
Photo by Joanne Adela Low from Pexels
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