Wounds and bruises in rape cases
"Will a complaint for rape be easily dismissed if there seems to be no physical proof of resistance on the victim? My friend told me about this girl who was raped, but she does not know if she can pursue filing a complaint because she has no wounds or bruises or such physical signs that she resisted. She is worried that the guy might claim that what happened between them was consensual. He allegedly poked a sharp weapon at her waist, and the guy was much stronger than her that she could not fight back even if she tried to push him away. Can the guy be held liable for rape?Jeph
Dear Jeph,Rape by sexual assault is punishable under Republic Act 8353 or ""The Anti-Rape Law of 1997."" It is stated therein that:
""""Article 266-A. Rape: When And How Committed. - Rape is committed:""1) By a man who shall have carnal knowledge of a woman under any of the following circumstances:
""a) Through force, threat, or intimidation""b) When the offended party is deprived of reason or otherwise unconscious
""c) By means of fraudulent machination or grave abuse of authority and""d) When the offended party is under twelve (12) years of age or is demented, even though none of the circumstances mentioned above be present.""Although it is primordial for the prosecution to clearly establish that carnal knowledge transpired through any of the means specifically above-mentioned, the law itself does not require evidence of wounds, bruises, or any other external or physical manifestation of resistance. So long as the complainant and/or her witness/es can substantiate her allegations of rape, then she can pursue filing a complaint against her assailant.The Supreme Court has also made it clear, in the case of People of the Philippines vs. Joselito Salazar (GR 239138, Feb. 17, 2021, Ponente: Associate Justice Marvic M.V.F. Leonen) that:
""In rape by force, threat, or intimidation, the prosecution must establish that there is no consent or voluntariness on the part of the victim, and that the accused employed force, threat, or intimidation to consummate the crime.""As an element of rape, force must be ""sufficient to consummate the purposes which the accused had in mind."" On the other hand, ""intimidation must produce fear that if the victim does not yield to the bestial demands of the accused, something would happen to her at that moment or even thereafter as when she is threatened with death if she reports the incident.""In cases where the accused used a knife to threaten the victim, this Court held that this strongly suggests force, or at least intimidation, which is clearly adequate to bring the victim to submission. x x x""In any event, neither the presence of or use of a deadly weapon, nor physical violence are essential to find force or intimidation. Force or intimidation is relative. It depends on the circumstances of the rape, as well as the size, age, strength, and relation of the parties. There is force and intimidation as long as the actions of the accused are 'sufficient to consummate the bestial desires of the malefactor against the victim.' It is not required that the force or intimidation employed be so great that it is irresistible, but it must only be enough to consummate the purpose of the accused.""Intimidation must be considered in light of the victim's perception and judgment. It is enough that it produces fear in the victim's mind. x x x""In rape cases, victims are not burdened to show physical resistance when they are intimidated. Intimidation is addressed to the victim's perception and is, therefore, subjective."" (Emphasis supplied)We hope that we were able to answer your queries. Please be reminded that this advice is based solely on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. Our opinion may vary when other facts are changed or elaborated."
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"Wounds and bruises in rape cases"
was written by Mary
under the Legal Advice
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comments. The article was created on 16 September 2021
and updated on 16 September 2021