VIRAL: UST student tweets how she was physically abused
MANILA, Philippines — A Twitter thread posted by a University of Santo Tomas (UST) student sharing how she was allegedly beaten up by her ex-boyfriend is now circulating all over social media and has over 17,000 retweets and 30,000 likes as of Thursday, July 19.
After a long time of considering you and what we had, I think it’s about time I clear things up. I know this is long overdue but the feelings that held me hostage were the reason for me to be blinded of all your red flags. You weren’t worth shit.— Kim (@dianekiimberly) July 14, 2018
In a series of tweets posted on Saturday, July 14, Diane Kimberly C. Arcena accused her ex-boyfriend of physical abuse. Though she didn't mention his name in her tweets, netizens identified the ex-boyfriend as Kyle Viray, also a student of UST.
Arcena and Viray are both Biology students of the university.
"I recently dated this guy and started just like any other relationship. Things were all great and exciting," said Arcena. "Just like any other couple, we’ve had our fair share of ups and downs too. We’d fight over small and stupid things but at the end of the day we’d kiss and make up. It was all good so I didn’t bother reading between the lines," she added.
Arcena noticed how her boyfriend changed over time. Viray, according to Arcena, would get angry even over petty issues. That's when Viray started hitting Arcena. READ: Violence against women: Sex, power, abuse)
He got so furious at the thought na i was gonna have a drink with my friend and that’s the first time he hit me.— Kim (@dianekiimberly) July 14, 2018
"At first, the bruises and scars weren't evident but as time passed by, things just got worse; the beatings," Arcena said.
Arcena also posted some pictures after the most recent beating where she sustained bruises and hematoma all over her head and body.
THIS WAS THE LAST AND THE WORST. I suffered from severe hematoma all over my head and body. My head was all tender from all the bruising, it was so bad i couldn’t so much as touch it for days. I also had a chest trauma, my ribs were bruised and I had trouble breathing for weeks pic.twitter.com/YvZobtkYke— Kim (@dianekiimberly) July 14, 2018
The beatings happened 4 times: once on December 2017, another one on February, and twice on March.
The Student Welfare and Development Committee (SWDC) of UST's College of Science looked into the incident. Rappler was able to obtain a copy of the SWDC resolution.
In his statement to the SWDC, Viray denied all the accusations of Arcena, saying that the bruise and scratches were caused by their having "rough sex."
The SWDC said in its resolution: "We don't believe that Diane would concoct a story." The committee concluded that Viray's acts "should be condemned and should not be countenanced."
They found him guilty of violating the university's Code of Conduct and Discipline which prohibits students from "inflicting injuries, physical or otherwise, on another person, whether inside or outside the campus." As a consequence, the SWDC decided Viray will not be allowed to attend the graduation ceremony and ordered him to perform "250 hours of community service."
In the Manual of Regulations for Private Higher Education, provided by the Commission on Higher Education (CHEd), the committee said "the penalty for hooliganism or violent or destructive behaviour is Exclusion." However, SWDC opted for leniency after considering that Viray was a graduating student and the incident was his first offense.
Arcena said she has filed a complaint against Viray in the prosecutor's office of Manila.
Viray is yet to reply with our message requesting for an interview. (READ: Violence against women: Goodbye to Jesus)
Reactions from netizens
Netizens were quick to react after reading the abuse story of Arcena, with some even calling to expel Viray from the university.
@UST1611official please make sure the student who did this gets expelled. Also, please assist the girl in claiming her justice if it’s true that the guy only got community service as punishment.— Charm Jayme (@charmjayme) July 14, 2018
Gabriela Youth, in a statement denounced UST's "leniency," citing its punishment to Viray– just 250 hours of community service.
An institution should never be an enabler of abuse. We call on the UST admin to give proper sanctions fitting for the crime committed against these brave women. This is a testament that the feudal-patriarchal system in place allows for violence agaisnt women and culture of impu- pic.twitter.com/l4VFBgeKV9— Gabriela Youth (@gabrielayouthph) July 15, 2018
Here are some tweets condemning Viray's acts.Kyle Viray - Curated tweets by MovePH
Rappler reached out to UST's Public Affairs Office and Social Media Bureau for statements but they haven't responded yet as of press time.
Under the Republic Act 9262 or Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004, perpetrators, if proven guilty, will serve a prison term depending on the gravity of the crime, will pay a fine ranging from P100,000 to P300,000, and should undergo psychological counseling or psychiatric treatment. – Rappler.com
Angelika Ortega is the current executive editor of TomasinoWeb, the official digital media organization of University of Santo Tomas