DAVAO CITY, Philippines (Updated as of 8:50 am, March 5, 2017)— The city’s Integrated Gender and Development Division said it is keen to probe the decrease on the cases of violence against women and children recorded in barangays last year compared to the previous year.
In its report presented to the 18th Women Summit on Friday, March 3, Integrated Gender and Development Division head Lorna Mandin showed there was a steady increase of reported cases monitored by the IGDD from 2004 to 2016. However, the monitoring report of the violence against women (VAW) desk monitoring report in the city’s villages shows that the number of cases reported are dropping.
In district 1 for instance, the total number of VAW cases received or handled in Poblacion district numbered to 93 in 2015, but the number dropped to 35 in 2016. In Talomo, the figure for 2015 was high at 1988 cases, but it decreases to 57 in 2016.
The same trend was recorded in the most populated villages in district 2 and district 3.
For instance in Agdao district, 41 cases were received in 2015, but only 36 cases were received in 2016; in Buhangin district there we 74 cases in 2015 but it dropped to 41 in 2016; in Paquibato, there were 4 cases reported in 2015 but only 1 in 2016.
In Tugbok district, 110 cases were reported in 2015 but it dropped to 26 in 2016. For Calinan district, there were 72 cases reported in 2015, while only 16 cases were reported in 2016; and in Toril district there were 93 cases reported in 2015, but only 39 cases for 2016.
Mandin told Davao Today in an interview the they would like to conduct a research why there was a decrease of reported cases from the barangays.
“What could be the reason? Was there under reporting or there are no more cases to report?” Mandin said.
“It has to be investigated, it has to go through research,” she said adding that they already have a prospective academe to tie up with for the research.
A recent tally of IGDD said that 1,094 women clients and 16 children clients in 2016 were recorded with cases involving violations of Republic Act 9262 or the Anti Violence Against Women and Their Children Act, RA 8353 or the Anti Rape Law, RA 7610 or the Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act, Domestic Workers Act, and Children in Conflict with the Law.
A total of 9,759 cases of violence and against women and children were reported to the IGDD since the office was established in 2004 until 2016.
From 2004 to 2009 the reported cases of violence against women and children were reported. It dropped from 611 in 2009 to 526 in 2010. But the record continued to increase doubly from 2010 to 2016.
Comprehensive help needed
However, Lyda Canson, Chairperson Emeritus of Gabriela Davao said the reported case might have increased but still more women do not report.
“Worldwide we have one out of six women who are harassed, so the 10 percent increase noted by the IGDD is even less,” she said.
Canson said there should be more VAW desk in the barangay to attend to the complaints and more trainings should be conducted for gender sensitivity.
Canson said most of the abuse are settled through arbitration but she said this does not address the cause of the abuse.
“What they do in barangay is family arbitration. But later on they are the same women who will report cases because VAW is not the only condition of exploitation. There is economic, they do not have education, jobs, so they find it difficul to free from violent relationships,” Canson said.
Canson siad the government must immediately address the needs of women for jobs and education.
“There should be a comprehensive approach and financial empowerment is important,” she said.
Canson also said this is one reason why there is a need to push for the resumption of talks.
“The peace talks are already discussing the Comprehensive Agreement in Social and Economic Reforms, and this aims to provide the necessary reforms for women and her families,” she added.
Economic abuse, young women highlight report
Mandin said majority of the cases in 2016 involves economic abuse, while women aged 18 to 35 years old comprised the most number of clients, while the age of the respondents are 18 to 64 years old.
Mandin expressed concern over this as young women “are experiencing violence.”
“These are women who are supposed to be in school,” she said.
She added that most number of clients reside in Talomo district while the least number is from Paquibato district.
Majority of the clients are also homemakers and unemployed. Mandin said this situation makes women more vulnerable to abuse.
Police Senior Investigator Eliza Ramirez, head of the Davao City Women and Children Protection Desk said they have recorded 235 cases of violence against women and children for the month of February alone.
She said the number came from the report of 12 police stations in the city. Majority of the number involves physical injury with 130 cases.
There were also 84 cases of psychological abuse, 20 cases of economic abuse and a case of sexual abuse.
Ramirez told Davao Today in an interview that continued advocacy on women and children’s rights encourages women to come out and report. (davaotoday.com)