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Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998 (RA 8505)

Rape Victim Assistance and Protection Act of 1998 (RA 8505)

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Published by Myron Gutierrez

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Published by: Myron Gutierrez on Jun 09, 2009
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02/03/2013

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REPUBLICACTNO.8505ANACTPROVIDINGASSISTANCEANDPROTECTIONFORRAPEVICTIMS,ESTABLISHINGFORTHEPURPOSEARAPECRISISCENTERINEVERYPROVINCEANDCITY,AUTHORIZINGTHEAPPROPRIATIONOFFUNDSTHEREFOR,ANDFOROTHERPURPOSES.Section1.Title.—ThisActshallbeknownasthe"RapeVictimAssistanceandProtectionActof1998."Sec.2.Declarationofpolicy.—ItisherebydeclaredthepolicyoftheStatetoprovidenecessaryassistanceandprotectionforrapevictims.Towardsthisend,thegovernmentshallcoordinateitsvariousagenciesandnongovernmentorganizationstoworkhandinhandfortheestablishmentandoperationofarapecrisiscenterineveryprovinceandcitythatshallassistandprotectrapevictimsinthelitigationoftheircasesandtheirrecovery.Sec.3.RapeCrisisCenter.—TheDepartmentofSocialWelfareandDevelopment(DSWD),theDepartmentofHealth(DOH),theDepartmentoftheInteriorandLocalGovernment(DILG),theDepartmentofJustice(DOJ),andaleadnon‐governmentorganization(NGO)withproventrackrecordorexperienceinhandlingsexualabusecases,shallestablishineveryprovinceandcityarapecrisiscenterlocatedinagovernmenthospitalorhealthclinicorinanyothersuitableplaceforthepurposeof:(a)Providingrapevictimswithpsychologicalcounselling,medicalandhealthservices,includingtheirmedico‐legalexamination;(b)Securingfreelegalassistanceorservice,whennecessary,forrapevictims;(c)Assistingrapevictimsintheinvestigationtohastenthearrestofoffendersandthefilingofcasesincourt;(d)Ensuringtheprivacyandsafetyofrapevictims;
 
(e)Providingpsychologicalcounsellingandmedicalserviceswhenevernecessaryforthefamilyofrapevictims;(f)Developingandundertakingatrainingprogramforlawenforcementofficers,publicprosecutors,lawyers,medico‐legalofficers,socialworkers,andbarangayofficialsonhumanrightsandresponsibilities;gendersensitivityandlegalmanagementofrapecases;and(g)Adoptingandimplementingprogramsfortherecoveryofrapevictims.TheDSWDshallbetheleadagencyintheestablishmentandoperationoftheRapeCrisisCenter.Sec.4.DutyofthePoliceOfficer.—Uponreceiptbythepoliceofthecomplaintforrape,itshallbethedutyofthepoliceofficerto:(a)Immediatelyreferthecasetotheprosecutorforinquest/investigationiftheaccusedisdetained;otherwise,therulesofcourtshallapply;(b)Arrangeforcounsellingandmedicalservicesfortheoffendedparty;and(c)Immediatelymakeareportontheactiontaken.Itshallbethedutyofthepoliceofficerortheexaminingphysician,whomustbeofthesamegenderastheoffendedparty,toensurethatonlypersonsexpresslyauthorizedbytheoffendedpartyshallbeallowedinsidetheroomwheretheinvestigationormedicalorphysicalexaminationisbeingconducted.Forthispurpose,awomen'sdeskmustbeestablishedineverypoliceprecinctthroughoutthecountrytoprovideapolicewomantoconductinvestigationofcomplaintsofwomenrapevictims.Inthesamemanner,thepreliminaryinvestigationproperorinquestofwomenrapevictimsmustbeassignedtofemaleprosecutororprosecutorsafterthepoliceshallhaveendorsedallthepertinentpapersthereoftothesameoffice.
 
Sec.5.Protectivemeasures.—Atanystageoftheinvestigation,prosecutionandtrialofacomplaintforrape,thepoliceofficer,theprosecutor,thecourtanditsofficers,aswellasthepartiestothecomplaintshallrecognizetherighttoprivacyoftheoffendedpartyandtheaccused.Towardsthisend,thepoliceofficer,prosecutor,orthecourttowhomthecomplainthasbeenreferredmay,whenevernecessarytoensurefairandimpartialproceedings,andafterconsideringallcircumstancesforthebestinterestoftheparties,orderaclosed‐doorinvestigation,prosecutionortrialandthatthenameandpersonalcircumstancesoftheoffendedpartyand/ortheaccused,oranyotherinformationtendingtoestablishtheiridentities,andsuchcircumstancesorinformationonthecomplaintshallnotbedisclosedtothepublic.Theinvestigatingofficerorprosecutorshallinformthepartiesthattheproceedingscanbeconductedinalanguageordialectknownorfamiliartothem.Sec.6.Rapeshield.—Inprosecutionsforrape,evidenceofcomplainant'spastsexualconduct,opinionthereoforofhis/herreputationshallnotbeadmittedunless,andonlytotheextentthatthecourtfinds,thatsuchevidenceismaterialandrelevanttothecase.Sec.7.Appropriations.—FortheestablishmentandoperationoftherapecrisiscentersduringthefirstyearofimplementationofthisAct,theamountofOnehundredtwentymillionpesos(P120,000,000.00)shallbechargedagainsttheOrganizationalAdjustmentFund,asfollows:Sixtymillionpesos(P60,000,000.00)fortheDSWD;andTwentymillionpesos(P20,000,000.00)eachfortheDOH,DILG,andDOJ,respectively.Thereafter,thenecessaryamountfortherapecrisiscentersshallbeincludedinthebudgetaryallocationsfortheagenciesconcernedintheannualGeneralAppropriationsAct.Sec.8.Implementingrulesandregulations.—Withinninety(90)daysupontheapprovalofthisAct,allconcernedagenciesshallformulaterulesandregulationsasmaybenecessaryfortheproperimplementationthereof.Sec.9.Separabilityclause.—Ifanypart,Sec.orprovisionofthisActisdeclaredinvalidorunconstitutional,theotherpartsthereofnotaffectedtherebyshallremainvalid.

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