April 16, 2024

More women are breaking their silence against gender-based violence.

This was the pronouncement of City Social Welfare Officer II Coralie Dulnuan during a press conference where she announced the activities being prepared for the upcoming Women’s Month celebration in March.

In her report, there were 244 recorded cases of women in especially difficult circumstances (WEDC) assisted last year by the Local Council Against Trafficking-Violence Against Women and their Children (LCAT-VAWC) led by the City Social Welfare and Development Office.

Majority of the WEDC cases were physical injuries – 148; followed by psychological abuse – 52; sexual – 40; and four were economic abuse or the lack of financial support to the family.

Dulnuan said of the total cases, six were found to be of repeat victimization.

Only 31 of the victims have pursued filing of court cases while the other 213 were unfiled cases but availed of the city’s social services such as counseling interventions for both victims and perpetrators.

“Majority of the WEDC cases are unfiled for the women victims who prefer to restore their family relationship after the perpetrator will undergo counseling/intervention and does not see the necessity of filing a case in court,” Dulnuan said.

Majority or 36.48 percent of the victims are those aged 20 to 29 years old; followed by 32.38 percent consist of those aged 30 to 39 years old; 17.62 percent were aged 40 to 49 years old; 7.79 percent were aged 50 to 59 years old; and 4.92 percent are 18 to 19 years old.

Abuse among the senior citizens aged 60 years old and above has also been noted with two VAWC cases reported last year.

Dulnuan said the CSWDO with the LCAT-VAWC closely worked together for the provision of appropriate services to the women victims that would lead to their empowerment.

“Total Family Approach was employed by the workers as strategy in handling cases of WEDC. Thus, all members of the family are actively involved in the case management process in order to prevent further occurrence of violence in the family,” she said.

Dulnuan said cases may be increasing by the number but she attributed this to the aggressive awareness and promotions on equal gender rights.

“Women are aware of their rights and they know how and where to get help, maybe that is why we have a lot of cases being reported,” Dulnuan said.

All of the 128 barangays of Baguio City were able to establish their Women’s Desk, bringing social services closer to the community.

The CSWDO conducts capability building to VAW Desk officers and kagawads on social services to strengthen management and reporting systems in the community. – Jessa Mardy P. Samidan