Davao City records 2,707 VAWC cases in 2023, highest in 18 years

Disturbing trends, pandemic challenges behind VAWC surge
Davao City records 2,707 VAWC cases in 2023, highest in 18 years

DAVAO City grapples with a staggering 2,707 cases of Violence against Women and Children (VAWC) in 2023, marking the highest in the past 18 years, according to Lorna B. Mandin, head of the Integrated Gender and Development Division (IGDD).

Mandin, head of IGDD, said during the ISpeak media forum, on Thursday morning, March 7, 2024, at the New City Health Office, Magallanes, attributed the surge to pandemic-related challenges, including limited access to support services, resulting in a backlog of cases. 

“In the last 18 years na nagahatag ta’g free legal services sa IGDD, ang pinakataas na case was 2023, meaning it was increasing. In the time of the pandemic nagbaba siya due to limited access kaya nag pile up siya sa 2023 (In the past 18 years, the highest number of cases provided with free legal services by the IGDD was in 2023, indicating an increasing trend. During the pandemic, there was a decrease due to limited access, resulting in a pile-up of cases in 2023),” she said.

According to their data, there were 2,540 reported VAWC cases in 2019, followed by 1,197 in 2020, 999 in 2021, 1,864 in 2022, and a significant increase to 2,707 cases in 2023, highlighting a notable upward trend.

The majority of these cases involve domestic and gender-based violence, with spouses and partners identified as the usual perpetrators. 

In 2023 alone, 1,439 cases were economic abuse, 755 were psychological or emotional abuse, 463 were physical abuse, and 50 were sexual abuse.

The IGDD assisted a total of 1,341 walk-in clients (women) in 2023. This assistance included 381 clients in the first quarter, 312 in the second quarter, 358 in the third quarter, and 290 in the fourth quarter.

Efforts to address the issue continue, with the IGDD conducting training sessions for VAWC desk officers to handle cases sensitively and effectively. 

However, despite these efforts, the rising number of cases poses a challenge, prompting the need for continuous response and innovations to address the issue collaboratively with partner agencies. Rolly M. Torrefiel Jr., UIC Intern/Eunice Andrea D. Fuentes, HCDC Intern


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