Domestic violence up in 2008 in the Philippines

The Philippine National Police (PNP) Women and Children Protection Center reported an “alarming” increase in the incidence of domestic violence in 2008, its director, Chief Superintendent Yolanda Tanigue, said on Friday.

The Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse (CPTCSA) said domestic violence is one of the major factors in the development of sexual offenders.

“A major cause, one of the major causes, is domestic violence. So for us to address sexual abuse [we need] to address domestic violence. And very interestingly, based on PNP statistics, there are very common parallelisms between the abuse of women and children,” said CPTCSA chairperson Hope Abella in a press conference at Camp Crame.

Tanigue said from 6,647 incidents of violence against women in 2007, the PNP WCPC reported 7,864 cases in 2008.

Incidents involving violation of Republic Act 9262 (Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004) increased from 2,387 cases in 2007 to 3,599 cases in 2008.

Tanigue also reported an increase in crimes against children, from 6,688 in 2007 to 8,588 in 2008.

Of these cases, 2,981 cases involved rape.

Abella noted that rape significantly affects the self-esteem of the child and his ability to trust others.

“What appears in our data from counseling, their number one issue is self-esteem. There are many issues we need to respond to, fear, betrayal, because the difficult thing about child rape, most are victims of incest … At a very early age in life, the child who is trusting an adult, it is the adult who hurts the child. One of the basic things that is destroyed early on is trust,” she said.

The PNP-WCPC also reported 1,450 physical injuries committed against children; 876 acts of lasciviousness; and 229 incestuous rapes.

But Tanigue also said victims are now more willing to file a complaint with the police because of the Women’s and Children’s Desks set up in all police stations.

“They have learned to report and when we launched our information campaign, we have been telling them of police visibility, especially how our policewomen are now out in the streets. They are no longer afraid to report. They are with us now,” she added.

However, Abella said eradicating domestic violence and child abuse involves changing the perception of society towards women as the “weaker sex.”

She said this was one of the reasons for “double victimization,” in which women victimized by violence are often blamed for their fate.–PNP


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