Police record over 1,200 crimes vs women, children during virus lockdown

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Police record over 1,200 crimes vs women, children during virus lockdown
This April 14, 2020 photo shows residents of Parola compound in Tondo.
The STAR / Edd Gumban

MANILA, Philippines — Over 1,200 cases of violence against women and children have been reported to the police since the start of the enhanced community quarantine, President Rodrigo Duterte said.

In his latest report to Congress, the chief executive said the Philippines National Police logged 763 cases of crimes against women and 521 crimes against children while Luzon and the rest of the country are under quarantine.

Worries about domestic abuse have spread across the globe as governments force residents to stay home to contain the spread of the new coronavirus.

The national government initially placed the main island of Luzon under enhanced community quarantine on March 17 and later prolonged it until April 30. Local governments outside of Luzon also imposed their own lockdowns.

Metro Manila, the province of Cebu and other high-risk areas will remain under strict community quarantine, until May 15 at the earliest.

“The PNP Women and Children Protection Desks are working closely with LGUs to ensure that the rights and welfare of women and children are protected during the ECQ,” Duterte said.

The Commission of Human Rights earlier called on the government to ensure that victims of abuses have access to legal assistance, to provide shelters and financial aid for those who want to leave their houses, and to give medical and psychological care through helpline services.

“Under [the] coronavirus regime, leaving violent relations is far more difficult and dangerous. The disease already poses a particularly grave challenge and women and children do not deserve to suffer further, not especially in their homes,” Jacqueline De Guia, CHR spokesperson, said in April.

CHR also launched an online platform where people can report incidents of gender-based violence.

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