Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Online Sexual Harassment Bill by Senator Risa Hontiveros

Online Sexual Harassment, Anna Nicole de Castro

Online Sexual Harassment, Anna Nicole de Castro
Hontiveros with Sylvia Claudio and Anna Nicole de Castro, the subject of online harassment after protesting the hero's burial of dictator Ferdinand Marcos.

Senator Risa Hontiveros files the "Tres Marias" bills which is composed of three legislative measures to fight sexual harassment and violence against women online. The bills were filed on Tuesday, November 22.

In Hontiveros' press statement Monday, she also attached a screenshot of the sexual attacks on the female protesters.

The bills, called "Tres Marias Bills," aims to penalize gender-based electronic violence, peer-to-peer sexual harassment, and amend the Anti-Rape Law.

Hontiveros called the proposed measures the "Tres Marias" bills: Senate Bill No. 1251 which seeks to punish those behind misogynistic and homophobic attacks on social media, SB 1252 or the Anti-Rape Act, and SB 1250 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Bill.

Hontiveros chairman of the Senate committee on women, children, family relations and gender equality, said that the victims of misogynistic and homophobic attacks online are usually the youth, whose primary outlet of expression is social media.

"The attacks have the effect of silencing this expression, and contributing to a culture of misogyny and hate," she said.

Under SB 1251, misogynistic and homophobic attacks online fall under GBEV.

The bill defines GBEV as "acts involving use of any form of information and communications technology which causes or is likely to cause mental, emotional or psychological distress or suffering to the female victim or lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (LGBTQ) victim, and tending to disparage the dignity and personhood of the same on account of his or her gender."


SB 1251 seeks a jail term of 5 to 10 years for offenders, or a fine of P100,000 to P500,000. The court could choose to impose both penalties.

Some of the violations are:

  • Unauthorized recording, reproduction or distribution of videos showing the victim's naked or undergarment-clad genitals, pubic area, buttocks or breasts
  • Uploading or sharing without the consent of the victim any form of media that contain pictures, voice, or video of the victim with lewd, indecent, obscene or sexual content
  • Harassing or threatening the victim through text messaging, obscene, misogynistic, homophobic or indecent posts in social media sites, or other cyber, electronic or multimedia means
  • Cyber-stalking which includes, but not limited to, the hacking of personal accounts on social networking sites, the use of location trackers on cellular devices
  • Unauthorized use of the victim's picture, video, voice, name, or any other aspect of the victim's identity and distributing the same in any video game, phone application, program and the like, which deliberately exposes the victim to harassment and attack and puts or tends to put the victim in a bad light or injure the victim's reputation

SB 1252 its purpose is to amend and modernize current anti-rape laws. The bill seeks to deem the use of video recording or an electronic device during the commission of the rape as an aggravating circumstance.

SB 1250, will be to amend current legislation by introducing sexual harassment between peers and those committed to a superior officer by a subordinate, or to a teacher by a student, or to a trainer by a trainee.

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