Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Hope and help for the battered woman (4): Emotional abuse/psychological violence

RA 9262 penalizes psychological violence as defined in Section 3 thereof. For a discussion of what psychological violence or emotional abuse is all about, please surf over to my Salt and Light blog.

Note: I have also written several other articles about spousal abuse, domestic violence, etc. Please take time to read the following:


Anonymous said...

Hi! How does a wife prove in court that she is psychologically/emotionally battered? kailangan ba ng voice recordings? i dont think any wife in such situation would have a chance of recording her husband's threats. thanks

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. The wife can have herself evaluated by a psychologist or a psychiatrist to prove psychological or emotional damage. Based on the findings and on the expert testimony of the psychologist or psychiatrist, the proof of damage can be established.

Psychologists or psychiatrists need only to examine the wife; they have ways to determine the truthfulness of statements. Of course, such findings can be contested in court by the husband.

2. Under our rules on evidence, we have what is known as “part of the res gestae.” After a husband (or live-in partner or boyfriend) makes the threatening remarks, the wife should report IMMEDIATELY such threats to the police, barangay, or even to relatives. This rule on evidence provides that spontaneous remarks made right after a startling incident are truthful since they were made without any lapse of time for reflection. The report should thus be made minutes, not hours, after the incident. (This rule is an exception to hearsay statements.)

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the prompt reply. But how can i report the threat if im not allowed to go out? im also living with his parents, who would surely be protective of their son. and they are very influential, they have lots of connections, so my report could either be ignored or worse, be taken against me.

im so sorry. i just feel so helpless...

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. That feeling of helplessness among battered women is what is called “learned helplessness.” A woman, no matter how well educated or how successful she is in her career, learns to become helpless in an abusive relationship.

You need to confide in your parents, siblings, close friends, relatives, religious minister what is happening to you. You need their help and guidance.

2. The DSWD has a project called Melissawatch meant for battered women. Please try if the Melissawatch number 0917-503-4264 is is still active. If not, try to get hold of the Melissawatch contact numbers through


3. If you want people to pray for you an your current situation, please follow this link to a prayer room for men and women:


Anonymous said...

i have already told my parents and some close friends about it. they are so worried about me. almost all of them are telling me to leave my husband if he keeps on harassing me for i might lose my self-respect or even my sanity in the long run. but i keep on telling them i can't leave him because he will get our child. he used to tell me that our child belongs to him and no matter what it takes, it will always belong to him. my parents and friends tell me that by law, custody for children below 7 years of age will automatically be given to their mother. however, like what i said, their family is very influential and they have lots of connections so by hook or by crook, he will get our child. also, he might use in court my being "immoral" even if it was all "virtual".

yes, you're right. i feel so helpless. i feel that no one could really help me right now. and im also having doubts about myself, my principles, my capabilities, my beliefs, etc... my self esteem has become so low.

i've made a lot of changes to please my husband and i hope that these would not anymore make him mad but i think the effect is that i don't know myself anymore. it's like i've become his robot. sad but this is how i really feel. i know i'll keep on doing this if it would mean our marriage and family will be saved.

it's a relief that i got to share some of my feelings. thank God i learned about this site.

Anonymous said...

hello, attorney.
in connection to the above lady's concerns, with regards to the services of a psychologist or a psychiatrist - does the court prefer a professional from a gov't hospital (eg, mental hospital, veterans memorial hosp, etc) or would any private practinioner do? does the court have a pool of doctors that we can go to? i have no idea where to get one. do you have a recommendation of someone experienced in psychological/emotional abuse? and would a psychiatrist be better than a psychologist? or will my chances get better if i have the services of both? thanks so much!

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Please take note that under the new Supreme Court Rule in Annulment of Voidable Marriages and Declaration of Nullity of Void Marriages (there is a copy under the Legal Procedures section of www.familymatters.org.ph), the psychological or psychiatric report is no longer mandatory. It is discretionary with the Family Court judge. However, lawyers are still submitting the report as part of their evidence.

2. Lawyers who handle annulment/declaration of nullity cases already have contacts with psychologists or psychiatrists. Once you retain the services of a lawyer, he or she will tell who to contact.

Anonymous said...

hello atty,im a single mother.my son is just 8 months old. my story goes like this.the father of my keeps telling to people that he is not the father of my baby.and it really hurts.as a woman i feel so low knowing that he is the only man ive known.i feel so helpless.. he lied to me he says he is single but when i got pregnant he told me that he is married.ive consulted to a lawyerabout my problem but he says wala ako magawa cos im 25yrs old. he keeps on telling me that if his wife finds out about me ipakukulong niya raw ako..he is influencial agot many connections. one day, i saw him and hindi ko napigilan ang sarili ko nasampal ko siya.at bigla nalang dumating ang pinsan niyang lalaki at sinampal ako. he says, he will put me in jail.what should i do?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

You can file a criminal case against the father of your child for psychological violence under RA 9262. You can also ask for financial support under a Protection Order.

You can ask for free legal help from the PAO (Public Attorneys Office) or from the IBP (Integrated Bar of the Philippines) chapter in your town or city. The IBP chapter offices are usually located in the Hall of Justice of cities. You can also try to get free legal help from the OLA (Office of Legal Aid) of the UP College of Law in Diliman, Quezon City.

Try also asking help from the Department of Justice. The DOJ Action Center acts on complaints, requests for assistance and legal queries of walk-in clients of the DOJ. For legal assistance please visit the Department of Justice Action Center (DOJAC) Main Office, Ground Floor, Multi-Purpose Building, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila; Telephone no: 523-84-81; Email Address: dojac@doj.gov.ph or visit any Regional/Provincial/City Prosecution Offices in your locality.

Anonymous said...

gud day atty! i have learned from the above comment that women like us can file a psychological violence. im from cebu..where i can find help? like DOJAC?

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

1. Try contacting the DOJAC through the office of the Regional State Prosecutor there in Cebu.

2. You can also go to any PNP station and look for the Women’s and Children's Desk officer.

3. Try contacting the “Melissawatch” project of the DSWD.

Anonymous said...

good day! ask ko lang po pwede na po ba akong mag file ng case sa x live-in ko at nagkaroon ng 2 anak ung isa ina acknowledge nya ung isa itinanggi nyang anak nya,last feb. nagharap po kami sa DSWD,at nangako na mag susustento sa 2 nya anak...pero gang ngayon wla pa syang ibinibigay dahil hinaharang ng bago nyang live in.

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Please read my post titled “Support for abandoned woman and family” (look for the link in the sidebar). You should file a petition in court for a Protection Order for financial support.

You can ask for free legal help from the Department of Justice Action Center at the Main Office, Ground Floor, Multi-Purpose Building, Padre Faura Street, Ermita, Manila; Telephone no: 523-84-81; Email Address: dojac@doj.gov.ph or visit any Regional/Provincial/City Prosecution Offices in your town or city.

Anonymous said...

hi atty! i am married for 10 years but our relationship was really on the rocks and sad to say, my life has been devastated since i got married. the man whom i believed to love and take care of me became my sole pain inflictor. basically, he never throw any trust on me, accusing me of having adultery tho im not, saying and texting mean and hurtful words to me that any woman couldnt imagine its coming from her own husband. he even downgrading me as a mom of our two sons and sinisiraan nya ako sa harap ng mga anak ko dahil lang sa simpleng dahilan na di ko nasasagot phone calls nya. his personality has been weird to me. i never felt tinuring nya akong asawa. he never met my emotional needs as a wife. its been on the other hand that he is the one being unfaithful to me ever since. and hes thinking im doing the same. i had a lot of abusive experiences from him some are physically but most of the time it was emotional and psychological telling me im an adulterer at pinakawalang kwentang ina sa buong mundo. but God knows how much i love my children that's why im sacrificing myself working here abroad for their future. life here is so hard that one time i almost committed suicide here dahil sa mga ginagawa nya sa akin thru texts and phone calls. i am now suffering depression and under medication. im just lucky my work hasnt been affected. my question is, when i file for annulment, can i file for emotional/ psychological abuse and/or psychological incapacity on his part? please enlighten me atty. thank you

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...

Emotional abuse or psychological violence is a crime under RA 9262. You have the options of filing (1) a civil case for damages; or (2) criminal case coupled with civil case for damages; or (3) a petition for Protection Order only. The penalty for psychological violence is six years imprisonment minimum up to twelve years maximum if the crime is committed while the woman is pregnant or in front of the children.

If you want to have your marriage declared null and void, the applicable ground is “psychological incapacity” under Article 36 of the Family Code. Please read the “Frequently Asked Questions” section of my website www.familymatters.org.ph and read my discussion of what “psychological incapacity” is all about.

Anonymous said...

Its a big help for having this kind of legal update for battered women like me. I was granted a TPO Aug. 2009 & automatically renewed until the final determination of the case. But my hubby & his counsel was so mayabang (cause they think they have the money to corrupt everyone else in court as what had happened with the case i filed for physical injuries w/c was dismissed by the fiscal were in after 3 prelim hearings the acussed parties never submitted a counter-reply affidavit for my complaint and did not appear even on that last prelim. But to my surprise the case was dismissed! and the fiscal quoted that the injuries i sustained was self-inflicted! 1st there was no counter reply submitted then their no appearance & the right sana to answer if any sa mga counters nila but wala nga. they even ignored the TPO cause he usually barge in our house and even climbed the gate and threat our maids that he wont give them salaries if they wont open the doors, thats y my maids bec. of fears soon resign one after another.The problem is my lawyer always told me to follow everything the acussed wanted me to do so that we can state our demands.To the extent of listing/liquidating even to the single cents all our expenses supported by receipts the money he gave us as household expenditures& that was trully tortured! lately after following everything he wants,he never gave me even a single cents as of now and controlled even our business.Para na akong masisiraan ng bait i was so depressed. I always called a police everytime he barged in & marinig ko pa lang boses nya na totorture na ko. I dont know the exclusions covering my TPO my lawyer hadnt discuss. Just the reliefs also mention here are the same as what ive read here from your post from "a to d "as of now my hearing is sched is on feb 17 got no lawyer to defend me pls help me i dont want my TPO dismiss cause they have also file a motion. thank you very much. email me at sussane_m@yahoo.com

Atty. Gerry T. Galacio said...


[1] As a matter of policy, I will not e-mail you since I do not have any assurance that the email address you gave is really yours.

[2] “my hearing is sched is on feb 17 got no lawyer to defend me”

What about the lawyer representing you before? He/she just cannot drop your case if you have retained his/her services. If you have paid your lawyer and he/she is no longer interested in representing you, you can file against your lawyer an administrative case for suspension or disbarment with the Commission on Bar Discipline with the Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP Building, Julia Vargas Avenue, at the back of SM Megamall).

Also, if you are referring to a criminal case, then the fiscal (public prosecutor) can handle the case for you. You do not have to pay the fiscal since he is a government employee.

[3] In the sidebar, I listed down the contact numbers of government offices or agencies (PNP, NBI, DSWD, etc) from which you can ask for help if your husband threatens you again.