House bill to make ‘ghosting’ an emotional offense

If you have ever been ghosted by a significant other, you will find an ally in Negros Oriental 3rd district Rep. Arnolfo Teves Jr. who filed a bill seeking to make “ghosting” an emotional offense.

(Photo by Gift Habeshaw on Unsplash)

House Bill (HB) 611, or “An Act Declaring Ghosting as an Emotional Offense,” seeks to make “ghosting for no apparent justifiable reason but solely to cause emotional distress to the victim” an offense.

He likened it to “emotional abuse” or “acts or omissions causing or likely to cause mental or emotional suffering of the victim such as but not limited to ridicule or humiliation, repeated verbal abuse and mental infidelity".

The bill defined ghosting as “a form of emotional abuse and happens once a person is engaged in a dating relationship with the opposite sex which affects the mental state of the victim".

“Ghosting—when someone cuts off all forms or communication can be mentally, physically, and emotionally exhausting to the ‘ghosted’ person. Studies have shown that social rejection of any kind activates the same pain pathways in the brain as physical pain, meaning there's a biological link between rejection and pain,” the bill’s explanatory note said.

The bill cited the “adverse effects” of ghosting on one’s mental and emotional state.

“The ambiguity with ghosting, is that there is no real closure between the parties concerned and as such, it can be likened to a form of emotional cruelty and should be punished as an emotional offense because of the trauma it causes to the "ghosted" party,” the explanatory note read.

Teves's bill, however, doesn't state any penalty for “ghosting” if found to be an emotional offense.

It also noted how dating has changed in today’s world where social media has become the main form of communication between couples.

Teves is the same lawmaker who earlier filed a bill seeking to rename the Ninoy Aquino International Airport (NAIA) into the Ferdinand E. Marcos International Airport.