The first bill that incoming Senator Raffy Tulfo will file in the 19th Congress will be about domestic violence.
‘’In my anti-domestic violence bill whoever the victims are, they will be helped. Victims need places where they can go to for immediate help, where they can seek safe refuge, find work, gain autonomy or independence from their aggressors at home,’’ Tulfo said in a press statement.
‘’The focus of this bill would be making welfare and law enforcement services at the LGU (local government unit) level,’’ he added.
Tulfo said he envisions a ‘’Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) or CSWD-run safe space facility for victims of domestic violence, physical and sexual abuse. Initially, these safe spaces can be first established in every town and city, then later on there can be satellite facilities in the barangays.’’
He also said he also envisions a process wherein in every barangay, there will be a Registry of Households by which the barangay will inventory all cohabiting and married couples and their household members, including children, young adults, seniors, PWD (persons with disability), and household helpers (kasambahay).’’
‘’This way, barangays will have a written record of who the households are so that when domestic violence happens to anyone and by anyone in the household, the barangay has a verifiable registry. This registry can also serve as a database for the availment of social welfare and intervention services and written legal basis for accessing benefits for spouses and their dependents and for civil and criminal proceedings,’’ he added.
Tulfo maintained that domestic violence aggressors would be the subject of administrative, civil, and criminal penalties.
‘’In domestic violence, the usual victims are the female partners, children, the elderly, and household help,’’ he pointed out.
‘’In nearly all situations, the aggressors are the ones who either have the economic power in the household or have the physical strength superiority over their victim or victims,’’ he added.
Tulfo explained that most often, the aggressors are the male partners.
‘’However, there are incidents and situations, though in the minority, wherein the aggressors are not the male partners. Sometimes, some elderly, younger adults, and female partners are aggressors. My anti-domestic violence bill will also help their victims and enforce the law against the aggressors,’’ he pointed out.
‘’So whatever the gender, age, or civil status of the victim, the anti-domestic violence bill I will file will protect and help them,’’ he added.