UST student’s tale of physical abuse causes uproar

July 17, 2018 - 2:29 PM
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The law protects women and children who are in abusive relationships.

A female student from the University of Santo Tomas told her story of alleged physical abuse at the hands of her boyfriend.

On July 14, Biology student known as Diane Kimberly opened up in a Twitter thread about her alleged former relationship with fellow student, Kyle Viray, that went from “great and exciting” to “abusive.”

In airing her tale, she explained that she aims to help others who are still in the same situation she had just gotten out of.

“Actually this goes for all people, never ever let someone treat you badly, abuse you in any way, just because you love him/her so much,” the student wrote in the now-viral post.

Many expressed sympathy for the student, including some organizations in the age-old university.

Others found out that Kimberly was possibly not that only victim of Viray.

A case had already been filed against Viray, who faces a period of community service and exclusion from graduation rites, Kimberly said in another post.

As of writing, details are still unclear. Viray has not yet issued his side of the story.

What the law says

Any form of relationship abuse is punishable under the Republic Act No. 9262 or “Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.”

In section 3, the term “violence” covers those actions committed by a person against a woman whom he has relations with, including “a sexual or dating relationship.” Physical abuse, on the other hand, involves all “acts that include bodily or physical harm.”

This is further explained in section 5, wherein inflicting “physical harm” to the woman and using self-harm to control her actions and decisions are considered violent acts.

The penalties on these forms of abuse or violence vary, which also depends on the provisions of Chapter Two—Physical Injuries in the Revised Penal Code.

Aside from jail time, a person proven guilty of violent acts against a woman or  her child shall also pay a minimum fine of P100,000.

What the school handbook says

As UST has yet to issue a statement on the case, some aired their disappointment over the university’s “minor” sanctions for the behavior.

The UST student handbook points out that physical injuries committed by a student against another is a violation of the Code of Conduct and Discipline of the institution.

The penalty may range from “warning, parental admonition, suspension, exclusion to expulsion,” and shall be up to the university’s administrators to determine and impose.