Background This study looked into the psychological effects of abuse and battering on wives/partners. In the Philippines, the most prevalent form of violence against women is physical abuse or wife/partner battering based on the records of the Philippine National Police. Cases of wife battering register high, though it decreased from 3,184 in 2000 to 1,475 cases in 2007 (latest data) according to the Department of Social Welfare and Development. This can be attributed to the enactment of Republic Act 9262 (Anti-Violence against Women and Children Act of 2004).
Methods The methods used were: 1) structured interview of psychologists; 2) secondary data gathering, such as analysis of case studies culled from records of the Philippine General Hospital–the largest tertiary hospital in the entire Philippines; and 3) interviews of psychiatrists in the hospital where the cases used in this study were treated.
Results Wife battering refers to violent acts, such as psychological, sexual or physical assault, by an assailant against his wife or partner made with the intent of controlling the partner by inducing fear and pain. One patient in this study (Case A) showed that she was stabbed twelve times by her live-in ‘matador’ partner who works in a slaughter house. Case B was about a partner who was forced to do abnormal sexual favours for her husband. For Case C, the husband raped their daughter. All three cases manifested depression in various forms with varying symptoms. Case A manifested symptoms of depression, fear, and panic of being attacked again by the assailant. Case B and Case C were diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
Conclusions Violence in household leads to psycho-social effects on victims. Therefore, appropriate counselling and treatment must be readily made available. There must also be legal remedies and security interventions offered by concerned government agencies to address the issues of wife/partner battering in the Philippines.
- wife/partner battering
- physical abuse
- psychological effects of battering
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