DAVAO CITY – Most cases of violence against women reported in Davao City were economic abuses, or depriving of financial support or opportunity to work for women.
This was according to the city’s Integrated Gender Development Division (IGDD) during the launch of the city’s campaign of “No To VAW” in time for the observance of the 33rd International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (IDEVAW).
IGDD head Lorna Mandin said that in the past ten years, 85% of the 1,041 cases referred to their office were economic abuses.
“Economic abuse includes failure of the partner to provide adequate financial support to the spouse. Another is prohibiting spouses from work or controlling the income of the family,” Mandin explained.
She said cases of violation of the VAWC law (Republic Act 9262) has been the most reported complaint in police stations.
Physical abuse accounts to an average of 35%, but she said it is correlated to cases of economic abuse.
Mandin said though the figures have increased, this may indicate awareness and courage among women to stand up against abuse.
“They are assured that there will be agencies or people who will support them. Another thing is women are now vocal and are not afraid to speak out about abuse,” said Mandin.
Mandin said the division has also achieved success in resolving economic disputes through “justice and healing” by holding family conferences to resolve economic issues where the husband or partner will pledge to provide financial support.
“There is satisfaction that the women achieved some resolution. Most men will comply and report to us. But sometimes there will be failure, and there would be a cat and mouse chase,” she said.
She also noted that more men have been made aware of VAWC.
The city’s most celebrated VAWC to date involved the Davao City Police Chief. Mandin said this has not deterred women to stand against violence committed by police or military officials.
“It has motivated of spouses or partners of police officers or rank-in-file to take action,” she said.
Aside from these cases, the IGGD had solved two administrative cases of sexual harassment involving city government employees, in which the penalties include dismissal from service and forfeiture of retirement benefits.
Mandin said they are pushing the implementation of the anti-VAWC law in the barangay levels by establishing anti-VAWC desks in 101 of 182 barangays in Davao City.
“Through this, women don’t need to go to the police or to our office. They can go to the barangays where there are identified heads of anti-VAWC desk.” (davaotoday.com)