‘I’ll sue my ex-lover for violence’

By Alex P. Vidal

“I am never proud to participate in violence, yet I know that each of us must care enough for ourselves that we can be ready and able to come to our own defense when and wherever needed.”— Maya Angelou

A 33-year-old lady sports organizer from Negros Occidental in the Philippines yesterday (April 13) sought my advice regarding her plans to file a case for “violence against women” against her former lover, a 53-year-old Filipino-American who resides here in New York City.

“My problem started when I decided to cut our affair in December (2019),” Celine (not her real name) told this writer via Messenger.

The former lover, Anthony (not his real name), allegedly sent several photos and videos to Celine’s friends in Negros and Manila showing their sexual trysts.

“He threatened to ruin me after I decided to stop seeing him,” Celine lamented. “He sent the photos and videos to my circle of friends, including the father of my kids.”

Celine, who is now in the Philippines, plans to fly back to New York “after the lockdown will end so I can finalize the case I plan to file (against Anthony).”

She admitted having an affair with Anthony in 2019 “because I needed his help at that time.”

Celine arrived in New York in April 2019 and was broke.

She needed an apartment and a job. Anthony, a successful Fil-Am engineer, was “referred” to her by another old male friend who happened to be Anthony’s colleague.

Anthony, a married man with three kids, “adopted” Celine and they hit it off romantically.




After several months of intense sexual liaison, Celine decided to end the illicit affair.

She fears for her life, she said because Anthony, who wanted the relationship to continue, was enraged and allegedly vowed to “avenge” the breakup.

I couldn’t comment on Celine’s problem with Anthony, especially about the cases she wanted to know on violence against women in the United States as I am a journalist and not a lawyer.

I learned that it is estimated that 35 percent of women worldwide have experienced either physical and/or sexual intimate partner violence or sexual violence by a non-partner (not including sexual harassment) at some point in their lives.

I learned further that some national studies show that up to 70 per cent of women have experienced physical and/or sexual violence from an intimate partner in their lifetime.

Evidence shows further that women who have experienced physical or sexual intimate partner violence report higher rates of depression, having an abortion and acquiring HIV, compared to women who have not.

“Similar to data from other regions, in all four countries of a multi-country study from the Middle East and North Africa, men who witnessed their fathers using violence against their mothers, and men who experienced some form of violence at home as children, were significantly more likely to report perpetrating intimate partner violence in their adult relationships,”according to the facts from the United Nations.

“For example, in Lebanon the likelihood of perpetrating physical violence was more than three times higher among men who had witnessed their fathers beating their mothers during childhood than those who did not.”




UN estimated that of the 87,000 women who were intentionally killed in 2017 globally, more than half (50,000-58 per cent) were killed by intimate partners or family members, meaning that 137 women across the world are killed by a member of their own family every day.

More than a third (30,000) of the women intentionally killed in 2017 were killed by their current or former intimate partner, it was learned further.

Adult women account for nearly half (49 per cent) of all human trafficking victims detected globally. Women and girls together account for 72 per cent, with girls representing more than three out of every four child trafficking victims.

More than four out of every five trafficked women and nearly three out of every four trafficked girls are trafficked for the purpose of sexual exploitation.

It is estimated that there are 650 million women and girls in the world today who were married before age 18. During the past decade, the global rate of child marriage has declined. South Asia had the largest decline during this time, from 49 per cent to 30 per cent.

Still, 12 million girls under 18 are married each year and in sub-Saharan Africa—where this harmful practice is most common—almost four out of 10 young women were married before their 18th birthday. Child marriage often results in early pregnancy and social isolation, interrupts schooling, limits the girl’s opportunities and increases her risk of experiencing domestic violence.

(The author, who is now based in New York City, used to be the editor of two local dailies in Iloilo)