Stalking: Violence against women

Stalking

What is stalking?

Section 3(d) of R.A. No. 9262 otherwise known as An Act Defining Violence Against Women and Their Children Providing for Protective Measures for Victims, Prescribing Penalties Therefore and For Other Purposes defines stalking as to 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.

Is stalking considered a crime?

Yes. Under Section 5 the same law, the act of stalking is a form of violence against women and children and is, therefore, a punishable act. Sec. 5 (h) provides that “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 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”.

Can a criminal complaint be filed for stalking?

Yes. Since stalking is a violation of R.A. No. 9262 then a criminal complaint can be filed as a violation of such law. Moreover, Section 8 of RA 9262 allows the issuance of a protection order against the complained party and may be applied before and issued by the barangay or the court having jurisdiction in your place of residence. This is to prevent further acts of violence against the woman.

What does this protection order offer?

The protection order includes: a) prohibition of the respondent from threatening to commit or committing, personally or through another, any of the acts mentioned in R.A. No. 9262 and the removal and exclusion of the respondent from the residence of petitioner, regardless of ownership of the residence, either temporarily for the purposes of protecting the petitioner or permanently where no property rights are violated and if respondent must remove personal effects from the residence, the court shall direct a law enforcement agent to accompany the respondent to gather his things and escort respondent from the residence.