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Village, youth officials asked to end violence vs women

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO—The Women in Pampanga Media (WIPM) has urged new and reelected village and youth officials to help eliminate violence against women and children and protect them from further harm. 

The WIPM— consisting of female journalists, influencers, media relations practitioners, media marketing specialists and media executives— made the call on Tuesday as the group added its voice to the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women, which is set to end on Dec. 12. 

Republic Act No. 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women (VAW) and their Children Act of 2004, describes VAW as “any act or a series of acts committed by any person against a woman who is his wife, former wife, or against a woman with whom the person has or had a sexual or dating relationship, or with whom he has a common child, or against her child whether legitimate or illegitimate, with or without the family abode, which result in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, psychological harm or suffering, or economic abuse including threats of such acts, battery, assault, coercion, harassment or arbitrary deprivation of liberty.”

Data obtained by WIPM from the Pampanga provincial police showed a total of 473 cases between Jan. 1 and Nov. 15, 2023. These were 103 cases less than the total 576 cases reported to the police’s Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) in the whole of 2022. 

The Jan. 1 to Nov. 15 cases this 2023 consisted of 10 statutory rape (of young girls), 113 rape, six attempted rape, 82 acts of lasciviousness, seven anti-photo and video voyeurism, 10 anti-trafficking in persons (ATIP), one attempted ATIP, 79 anti-violence against women and children, three concubinage, two grave threats, five physical injuries, 14 Safe Spaces Act, four sexual harassment, 122 anti-child abuse and 15 unjust vexation. 

According to the police, at least 352 cases had been filed in courts, 104 have been under preliminary investigation while 17 had been dismissed. A total of 176 suspects were relatives of the victims while 297 were neighbors or strangers. 

“Although the law was passed in 2004, VAW still persists and results in many forms of harm on women and their childten. Gender-based violence must be stopped in communities. The VAW law empowered village leaders to stop and prevent violence on women,” explained Sonia Soto, WIPM convenor and president of the Central Luzon Broadcasting Corp. that runs the CLTV36. 

Col. Levi Hope Basilio, Pampanga police director, said the reporting of more VAW incidents and the filing of cases in courts “indicate a certain level of empowerment among those who had been violated” 

The police accomplished a crime solution efficiency of almost 54 percent, he said, adding that suspects had been either arrested or identified. 

“The police’s WCPD are functional but the preventive approach is effective at the levels of families and communities,” Basilio explained.