Same-sex ‘abuse’

joji alonso column

Dear Atty. Maan,

My sister is in a long-term relationship with her partner who is of the same sex. Lately, I have observed signs of abuse in their relationship and she would always run to us crying for help. I am aware that there is an existing law, the law Anti-Violence and Women and their children, protecting women from abusive relationships. Would this law apply even if the abuser is also a woman?



Dear Cyrill,

Yes, the Supreme Court has unanimously ruled that Republic Act 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 (Anti-VAWC Act), grants protection to women-victims not only from men, but also from women, with whom they are in an intimate relationship. In the recently decided case of G.R. 242133, Agacid v People (16 April 2024), in affirming the decision of the lower court, the SC’s magistrates unanimously ruled that RA 9262 applies “even if the perpetrator is a woman, so long as the victim is a woman.”

Further in the case of Jacinto v. Fouts, G.R. 250627, (7 December 2022), the Supreme Court reiterated its ruling in the landmark case of Garcia v. Drilon, G.R. 179267, (25 June 2013) to wit:

RA 9262 applies to lesbian relationships.

“There is likewise no merit to the contention that RA 9262 singles out the husband or father as the culprit. As defined above, VAWC may likewise be committed “against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship.” Clearly, the use of the gender-neutral word “person” who has or had a sexual or dating relationship with the woman encompasses even lesbian relationships. Moreover, while the law provides that the offender be related or connected to the victim by marriage, former marriage, or a sexual or dating relationship, it does not preclude the application of the principle of conspiracy under the Revised Penal Code (RPC). Xxx”

Further, Justice Singh concurring to the Decision of the said case, stated: The interpretation that the Anti-VAWC Act applies to both heterosexual and lesbian relationships is also consistent with the Constitutional right to the equal protection of the laws. Indeed, interpreting the Anti-VAWC Act to protect only women in heterosexual relationships would discriminate against a class of women solely on the basis of their gender and sexual preference. Xxx As it is the protection of women from intimate partner violence that is the avowed purpose of the Anti-VAWC Act, for this law to cover only women who are in heterosexual relationships would be discriminatory to an entire class of women who are in lesbian relationships.

Atty. Mary Antonnette M. Baudi

Daily Tribune