DOH logs unreported cases of violence vs women, kids

DOH logs unreported cases of violence vs women, kids

CITY OF SAN FERNANDO --- The Department of Health (DOH) in Central Luzon on Thursday disclosed that many cases of violence against women and children (VAWC) are unreported.

The agency said this is because of several reasons like victim-shaming, victim-blaming, dependence on their partners and "because of love."

Noting a downtrend in the number of reported cases, the agency said that only 629 of VAWC complaints have been logged in 2022.

This figure is lower than the number of reported cases in 2018 (1,583); 2019 (1,489) in 2020 (1,160); and in 2021 (1,159).

The DOH Central Luzon Center for Health and Development said it believes that there are still a lot of unreported cases of VAWC in the country.

"VAWC cases are not reported because victims are ashamed, or they feel that they will only be victim-blamed. For example, women were cat-called on the streets because they wear shorts or shirts. We know that even if no matter what the woman wears, even if she wears pants or rolls up her sleeves, they are prone to rape,” the agency said.

Other reasons is that women have been shaped by Filipino culture to depend on their husbands or partners, and because of love, the agency said.

DOH identified the four forms of gender-based violence: physical violence or act that causes physical or bodily harm as a result of unlawful physical force; sexual violence or sexual act performed on an individual without their consent; psychological violence or the act causing mental or emotional suffering to the victim; and economic violence or acts that make or attempt to make a woman financially dependent.

DOH encouraged victims of VAWC not to be afraid and come out so that perpetrators will be punished accordingly.

VAWC is any act of gender-based violence that results in or is likely to result in physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women.

Republic Act No. 9262, or the Anti-Violence against Women and Their Children Act of 2004, penalizes all forms of abuse and violence within the family and intimate relationships and classifies VAWC as a public crime.

The agency urged the public to report any domestic violence or any cases of harassment in their community to the nearest barangay or police station as there are laws that protect and promote the welfare of women, and authorities are trained to handle these cases.

Under Republic Act No. 9262, the DOH is tasked to establish women and children protection units in provincial hospitals and DOH-retained facilities and rehabilitation centers.

In Central Luzon, the Bataan General Hospital and Medical Center and Mariveles Mental Wellness and General Hospital in Bataan, Jose B. Lingad Memorial General Hospital in Pampanga, Dr. Paulino J. Garcia Memorial and Medical Center, DOH Mega Drug Abuse Treatment and Rehabilitation Center and Talavera General Hospital in Nueva Ecija, Bulacan Medical Center, Tarlac Provincial Hospital, and James L. Gordon Memorial Hospital in Zambales each have a women and children protection unit.


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