SC ruling considers cheating on spouse a violation of VAWC law


The Supreme Court has upheld a ruling that defines marital infidelity as a form of psychological violence and a violation of the Anti-VAWC law.

The decision came on March 21 as part of a case involving a man who cheated and impregnated another woman while his wife was overseas.

The unnamed man got married in December 2006 and had a daughter with the woman. The wife left to work in Singapore in 2008. She learned in May 2015 that her husband had been cohabitating with another woman that he got pregnant.

He was charged with the violation of Republic Act (RA) No. 9262 or the anti-violence against women and their children act of 2004 (Anti-VAWC). A Regional Trial Court found the man guilty of inflicting psychological violence against his wife and daughter through emotional and psychological abandonment.

“[The daughter]’s psychological trauma was evident when she wept in open court upon being asked to narrate the petitioner’s marital infidelity. In particular, [the daughter] explained that she was deeply hurt because her father had another family and loved another woman other than her mother,” the Court said, highlighting that the child was only nine when she took the witness stand in 2015.

The husband brought the case to the Court of Appeals, which later affirmed the conviction and junked his petition.

Under RA No. 9262 Section 5(i), causing “mental or emotional anguish, public ridicule or humiliation to the woman or her child, including, but not limited to, repeated verbal and emotional abuse, and denial of financial support or custody” is an act of VAWC.

Section 3 of the Act also covers psychological violence as a form of abuse. It also

Associate Justice Ramon Paul Hernando said that all the elements to establish a violation of Section 5(i) were present in the case.

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