Cases of violence against women and children increased in 2015
Mylen P. Manto and Kristine B. Quintas (The Freeman) - March 3, 2016 - 9:00am

CEBU, Philippines - Cases of violence against women and children in Cebu City increased by 20 percent in 2015 as compared to the previous year.

However, Senior Inspector Arieza Otida, chief of the Women’s and Children Protection Center of the Cebu City Police Office,  said the increase in the number is because women and children already know where to run to in case they suffer any form of violence.

“There was an increase of about 20 percent. It is not alarming but (it’s due to) awareness,” said Otida.

 Otida said in 2014 there were 953 reported cases of violence against women and increased to 1,276 cases in 2015.

 The cases include rape, attempted rape, acts of lasciviousness, physical injuries in relation to anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act (VAWC), psychological abuse, trafficking, threats, concubinage, unjust vexation, voyeurism, and pornography and theft.

 But the most number of cases on the list of violence against women was on physical injuries with 568 cases in 2014 and 846 cases in 2015.

In line with the celebration of Women’s Month this March, Otida said they’ve been trying to reach out to different barangays in Cebu City and schools to conduct information drive on the rights of women under the law.

 They also submitted a position paper before the City Council on their campaign against Anti-Trafficking in Persons. Notices against anti-trafficking in persons will be posted in different establishments in Cebu City, especially in hotels.

 “We asked that there will be kind of reporting from the establishments or there will be reporting system in which the establishment will be obliged to report to different police stations if there is allegation of trafficking,” she said, in order to locate the perpetrators easily.

Violence against children

Otida said there were 573 cases of violence against children in 2014 while in 2015 the number increased to 707 cases.

 The cases include incestuous rape, attempted rape, acts of lasciviousness, physical injuries in relation to child abuse, psychological abuse in relation to child abuse, sexual harassment, Anti-Trafficking in persons Act, child abuse, threats, unjust vexation, Anti-Child Pornography and hold-up or robbery.

 “There was an increase of cases of incestuous rape from 2014 to 2015,” she said, citing due to the influence of drugs and internet. The victims aged seven to 14.

 In 2014 there were 64 cases of incestuous rape while in 2015 there were 67.

Apart from the information drives, Otida said they will also be having a search for the Cebu City Police Office (CCPO) Empowered Woman.  The candidates will come from 11 police stations in Cebu City and will be held on March 14, 2016.

VAWC awareness

 Cebu Vice Governor Agnes Magpale assures that the Provincial Capitol continuous to take part in the global effort against violence against women and children.

 Magpale, who co-chairs the Provincial Women's Commission and the Provincial Council for the Welfare of Children, said abused women themselves help prevent and combat violence against women and domestic violence by reporting the incidents.

 “Victims already know where to go to report cases of violence because they are now aware of their rights,” she said stressing the importance of awareness.

 She said every week, they receive reports of violence against women. However, she said they have no figures yet.

 The provincial government has earmarked P20-million for the construction of a “crisis center” at the back of the Cebu Provincial Police Office that will cater to women and children who are victims of any form of violence and exploitation in the province.

 The facility would also house children in conflict with the law for the conduct of psychosocial interventions.

 In celebration of women’s month, Magpale said a concert will be held tomorrow, March 5 at the Waterfront Hotel Cebu featuring “women leaders” like  Filipina pop and jazz singer Kuh Ledesma.

 The capitol will also be holding an awareness program at the provincial social hall on March 31, during the culminating activity, with various women who are running for May 9 polls. — (FREEMAN)

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