December 7, 2022

TABUK CITY, Kalinga – The City Social Work and Development Office recently oriented barangay desk officers on their roles in handling violence against women and children (VAWC) cases.

According to the City Public Information Office (CPIO), the participants were educated on the process, types of interventions, and strategies in handling VAWC cases at the barangay level as stipulated in Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act, especially on strategies in identifying possible unreported abuses.

The Tabuk City Police Station recorded 11 VAWC cases, which are believed as a “small number” that only provides a surface-level of awareness on the prevalence of violence and there may still be unreported accounts of abuses due to threats imposed by perpetrators.”

Bella Margarita Manuel of the CSWDO said VAWC cases may not have been reported due to fear, threats, or shame of victims, especially if the perpetrator is a family member and relative.

Physical abuse, sexual violence, psychological harm, and economic abuse are the types of abuse that target the vulnerable members of the family – the women and children, she said. 

Manuel said as barangay desk officers, they can intervene if they receive reports of violence and the victims are afraid to report it.

She advised barangay desk officers to conduct house visits and refer cases to the CSWDO or the Philippine National Police.

Barangay desk officers and the Philippine National Police should tighten their services 24 hours and be responsive to reports from victims with functioning helplines and emergency support services, she added.

To further strengthen their role in responding to VAWC cases, they will be given barangay officers desk handbooks.

Manuel also enjoined the citizenry to report and seek assistance from the nearest barangay, PNP, or social welfare office that if they have witnessed any abuse or violence against women or children. – Peter Balocnit with reports from CPIO