I have a live-in partner who always beats me up whenever he gets drunk. Once, he even encouraged me to commit a crime to which I did not accede. Because of our constant quarrels, I decided to live separately from him, and returned to my hometown. During my stay there at my parents’ house, I noticed, at least three times a week, a car parked near our house. I recognized the car because it was owned by my live-in partner’s employer. I began to suspect that my live-in partner is watching me, and I fear that he might be planning something against me. What shall I do?
You should file a complaint for violation of Republic Act (RA) 9262 against your live-in partner. The infliction of physical injuries upon you constitutes physical abuse under Section 5 of the same law. If you can prove that your live-in partner is really inside the car and he is watching or stalking you and this act of him can sow fear on your part, then this could be a ground for psychological abuse.
Section 3 (d) of RA 9262 defines stalking as “an intentional act committed by a person who, knowingly and without lawful justification, follows the woman or her child or places the woman or her child under surveillance directly or indirectly or a combination thereof.”
In connection thereto, Section 5 (h) of the law, provides:
“SECTION 5. Acts of Violence Against Women and Their Children.- The crime of violence against women and their children is committed through any of the following acts:
Xxx Xxx Xxx
(h)Engaging in purposeful, knowing or reckless conduct, personally or through another, that alarms or causes substantial emotional or psychological distress to the woman or her child. This shall include, but not be limited to, the following acts:
1) Stalking or following the woman or her child in public or private places;
2) Peering in the window or lingering outside the residence of the woman or her child;
3) Entering or remaining in the dwelling or on the property of the woman or her child against her/his will;
4) Destroying the property and personal belongings or inflicting harm to animals or pets of the woman or her child; and
5) Engaging in any form of harassment or violence.”
To prevent your live-in partner from stalking or inflicting physical harm on you, you can apply for a Barangay Protection Order in the barangay (village) where you reside or temporary protection order/permanent protection order in the regional trial court, metropolitan trial court, municipal trial court, municipal circuit trial court with territorial jurisdiction over the place of residence of the petitioner; provided, however, that if a family court exists in the place of residence of the petitioner, the application shall be filed with that court (Section 10, Ibid.).
We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated.
Editor’s note: Dear PAO is a daily column of the Public Attorney’s Office. Questions for Chief Acosta may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org