Harassment of women on the streets is hazardous

MENFOLK BE FOREWARNED

A CITY ordinance protecting women against harassment on the streets was finally passed on September 3 by the Sangguniang Panlungsod  (SP).

Authored by Councilor and Majority Floor Leader Maybelyn Fernandez, the ordinance defines streets harassment as comments or gestures of sexual nature directed at a woman in a public place without her consent.

Street harassment can be in the form of leering, ogling, stalking, obscene gestures, cat-calling, wolf-whistling, sexual jokes and touching intimate body parts of a woman, among others.

Fernandez said she crafted the ordinance because harassment of women on the streets are highly prevalent nowadays.

Cat-calling is defined in the ordinance as a loud whistle or a comment made by a man of sexual nature to a passing woman. On the other hand, “flashing” is the act of exposing a man’s sexual organ to a woman.

Groping or touching any part of a woman’s body and leering or looking or gazing a
woman in a lascivious and unpleasant way carry the same penalty.

Likewise for stalking or the act of willfully following or harassing a woman in circumstances that would cause her to fear for her safety.

For verbal abuse and harassment, the offender will be fined P1,000 or ordered to render 24-hour community service for the first violation; and P3,000 fine, in addition to 72-hour community service for subsequent violations.

For the physical harassment, the violator will be penalized with P4,000 fine and imprisonment of 15 days and not more than one year or both upon the discretion of the court; for the first offense; and for subsequent offenses, the offender may be fined P5,000 and meted imprisonment of 15 days to one year or both upon the
discretion of the court. (Leonardo Micua)

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