Cases of battered women highest in SW Mindanao

KORONADAL CITY (MindaNews/06 June) – Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao has the highest incidence of violence against women (VAW) among Mindanao’s six regions, at 35% or 15% more than the national average, followed by Northern Mindanao at 28% and Caraga at 27%, results of the 2008 National Demographic and Health Survey show.

The results, released recently by the regional National Statistics Office which pegged at 35% the incidence of battered women aged 15 to 49 in Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao.

Region 11 or Southeastern Mindanao, also referred to as “Davao region” came in fourth with 25%, the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao at 23% and Region 9 or Western Mindanao at 21%.

Herlita G. Caraan, regional chief of the National Statistical Coordination Board, said the national rate of VAW is 20%.

“Pushing, shaking and slapping are the most commonly reported forms of physical violence against women,” she said.

Alcohol may be a contributory factor to cases of violence against women but the study showed that there were fewer abuses inflicted on the women by male partners who were under the influence of alcohol (34.8%). But 50.3% of the VAW were inflicted by male partners who were not under the influence of alcohol.

In Southwestern Mindanao which covers the provinces of South Cotabato, North Cotabato, Sultan Kudarat and Sarangani, the most chronic form of abuse on women in 2008 was spousal abuse, Caraan said.

A report from the Women and Children’s Protection Desk of the Philippine National Police in the region showed that a total of 172 cases or 59.3% of VAW cases were committed by the relatives, partners and boyfriends of the victims and in 65.7% of the cases, the identified perpetrators were the husbands.

But more cases of women abused physically or sexually by their spouses have been recorded in Caraga region, at 27%. Region 12 posted 26%, the Davao region 23%, Northern Mindanao, 19%, in Western Mindanao, 17% and in the Autonomous Region in Muslim Mindanao (ARMM) at 13%.

Caraga comprises the two Agusans and two Surigaos and the cities therein; Region 12 or Southwestern Mindanao comprises South Cotabato, Sarangani, North Cotabato and Sultan Kudarat and the cities therein; Region 11 refers to the three Davao provinces and Compostela Valley and the cities therein; Northern Mindanao comprises Bukidnon, Camiguin, Misamis Oriental, Lanao del Norte and the cities therein; Western Mindanao comprises the three Zamboangas and Isabela City and other cities in the Zamboanga; and ARMM comprises Basilan, Sulu, Tawi-tawi, Maguindanao, Lanao del Sur and the cities of Lamitan in Basilan and Marawi in Lanao del Sur.

Across Southwestern Mindanao region, North Cotabato registered the highest number of reported VAW cases with 52, followed by South Cotabato with 50, Sarangani with 44 and Sultan Kudarat with 18.

Among the cities, Kidapawan City registered the highest incidence with 40 VAW cases while General Santos City registered the lowest with only nine cases.

Most of the victims were aged 36 to 45 years old, or a total of 131 or 45.2% of the cases reported in Region 12. This was followed by the 18 to25 age bracket with 103 cases. (MindaNews)