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Understanding VAWC: How and Where to Report (Hotlines and Penalties)

Violence against women and children (VAWC) remains a pervasive issue in societies worldwide, with far-reaching consequences for individuals, families, and communities.

What is VAWC?

In the Philippines, Republic Act 9262, also known as the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004, represents a crucial legislative step towards addressing this pressing issue. This guide aims to provide essential information about VAWC, including how to recognize it, what to do if someone you know is a victim, the penalties for perpetrators, and where to seek help.


Recognizing Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC)

VAWC encompasses various forms of abuse and violence perpetrated against women and children by close partners, including spouses or former spouses, live-in partners or former live-in partners, boyfriends/girlfriends or ex-boyfriends/girlfriends, and dating partners or former dating partners. The types of violence covered under R.A. 9262 include:

  • Physical Violence: Inflicting bodily harm, causing fear of physical harm, or restraining movement.

  • Sexual Violence: Acts of a sexual nature, such as rape, harassment, or forcing sexual acts.

  • Psychological Violence: Causing emotional suffering, controlling behavior, or threatening harm.

  • Economic Abuse: Making a woman financially dependent, controlling her money or property, or destroying household belongings.

What to Do if Someone You Know is a VAWC Victim?

If you suspect that someone you know is a victim of VAWC, it's essential to take action promptly. Any person who is aware of the crime can file a complaint because VAWC is viewed as a crime that affects everyone in the community. Encourage the victim to seek help from the following resources:

  • Barangay VAW Desk: Located in your Barangay Hall.

  • LGUs (Local Government Units): Contact the Provincial/City/Municipal Social Welfare and Development Office.

  • Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD): Community-Based Services Section (CBSS) at Legarda, Manila. Tel. Nos.: 733-0014 to 18 local 116 / 488-2861.

  • Philippine National Police (PNP): Women and Children Protection Center at Camp Crame, Quezon City. Tel. No.: 410-3213 / 532-6690. Emergency Hotline: 911.

  • National Bureau of Investigation (NBI): Anti-Violence Against Women and Children Division (VAWCD) at V-Tech Tower, G. Araneta Avenue, Quezon City. Main Office: (02) 8523-8231 to 38 / (02) 8525-6028.

  • Department of Justice (DOJ) - Public Attorney’s Office (DOJ-PAO): Contact at (02) 8929-9436 local 106, 107, or 159.

  • UP-PGH Women’s Desk: Tel. nos.: (02) 8353-0667 / 8542-1512 / 8554-8400 local 2536.

  • Women’s Crisis Center (WCC): Women and Children Crisis Care and Protection Unit at Vito Cruz, Manila. Tel. no.: (02) 8514-4104.

Penalties for Committing VAWC

Perpetrators found guilty in court can face imprisonment for one (1) month and one (1) day to twenty (20) years, penalties ranging from P100,000 to P300,000, and required psychological therapy or psychiatric treatment.

Seeking Help and Support

While the aforementioned agencies and organizations play a crucial role in addressing VAWC, it's important to remember that support is available. Whether through law enforcement, government agencies, or community organizations, individuals affected by VAWC can access a range of services, including legal assistance, counseling, medical care, and shelter.


In conclusion, addressing VAWC requires a concerted effort from all sectors of society. While legislative measures and law enforcement play a vital role, community support and awareness are equally essential. By working together to recognize, report, and support victims of VAWC, we can create safer and more supportive environments for women and children across the Philippines.

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