Victims of domestic violence to get additional 15-day leave with pay

Victims of domestic violence in private and government offices and factories will get a 15-day leave with pay during the period that their case is being heard or while under medical treatment or counseling.

Rep. Carmelo Lazatin (1st District, Pampanga), author of House Bill 5334, said  the 15-day leave will be granted to the aggrieved employees aside from the 10-day leave they will get under the Republic Act 9262 and the labor code and civil service rules and regulations.

The bill, to be known as the “Additional Leave for Victims of Domestic Violence Act of 2011,” seeks to amend Section 43 of RA 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Law.

Under the bill, eligible employees who are victims of domestic violence shall be entitled to an additional paid leave of absence of 15 days spread over a 12-month period for medical treatment, legal proceedings, relocation, counseling, therapy and assist minors or children who are also a victim of domestic violence.

Lazatin said domestic violence in the Philippines remains pervasive despite the passage RA 9262 in 2004.

“Protection of women’s rights does not end with the enactment of a law. It needs a follow through in implementation. Six years later after the birth of RA 9262, we see many loopholes in the implementation,” he added.

“Domestic violence is a serious problem and it is a common cause of injury. Victims may suffer physical injuries such as bruises or broken bones. They may suffer emotionally from depression, anxiety or social

isolation,” Lazatin said.

Lazatin said the Amnesty International deplored the persistent cases of domestic violence among Filipino women despite the existence of a law that criminalizes violence against Filipino women and children.

Lazatin said there are victims of rape, sexual, and domestic violence worldwide are continuously denied access to justice due to gender discrimination and assumptions on the sexual behavior of victims of


“Emotional appeals from their abusers, who downgrade their own wrongdoing, rather than threats, often lead victims of domestic violence to drop charges, a study revealed. Perpetrators are not

threatening the victim, but are using more sophisticated emotional appeals designed to minimize their actions and gain the sympathy of the victim,” Lazatin said.

Under the bill, a victim of domestic violence may get a certification from the court that the employee or her minor child are involved in legal proceedings related to domestic violence, a certification from a

medical professional that the employee or her minor child needs medical attention, counseling and therapy and a certification from law enforcement agencies and anti-domestic violence advocacy groups that the victim or her child are victims of domestic violence.

The bill provides that any employer who shall prejudice the right of the person under Section 43 of RA 9262 shall be penalized in accordance with the provisions of the labor code and civil service

rules and regulations.

Likewise, an employer who shall prejudice any person for assisting a co-employee who is a victim under the proposed act shall be liable for discrimination.


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