Davao receives complaints from 5 abused women daily

DAVAO CITY (MindaNews / 25 Nov) – The Integrated Gender and Development Division (IGDD) of the city government here is receiving at least five complaints of abused women a day, an official said Friday.

IGDD officer-in-charge (OIC) Lorna Mandin, in an interview with reporters during the launch of the 18-day Campaign to End Violence Against Women at the People’s Park on Friday, said that at least 80 percent of the cases that her office is receiving daily are about “economic” abuses.

She explained that economic abuse comes in a form of women not receiving financial support or are abandoned by their spouses while the remaining 20 percent is a combination of sexual, psychological, and emotional abuses.

Mandin said that IGDD listed 980 cases of VAWC for the first half of 2016, a big jump from about 600 cases of the same period last year.

The latest data was not readily available to reporters as of this writing Friday.

“Economic abuse happens when women are not receiving support, or when they are abandoned by their husbands. There are cases of women who are no fully employed, or economically dependent on their spouses, that if they are abandoned, they do not have livelihood to support their children,” she said.

Mandin said that a case can be filed against the husband for violation of Republic Act 9262, or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children Act of 2004

She said that this economic abuses are usually among women whose husbands work abroad. “They come to the office to seek help to locate their husbands and how to ask support from them. So we give demand letter to the husband to support his wife. And if he refuses, he will be sued in court,” Mandin said.

The People’s Park was filled with about 300 women’s rights advocates who were clad in orange shirts for an early morning Zumba during the launch of the 18-day Campaign to End Violence Against Women in collaboration with the Department of Tourism (DOT) 11.

The launch also fell on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against of Women.

In a press release issued by the DOT 11, it said that the Philippine Commission on Women (PWC) launched “Orange Your Icon” for 18 Days as one of the major activities during the campaign, in solidarity with United Nation’s “UNiTE to End VAW Campaign.”

The press release quoted United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon that this year’s celebration features the bright and optimistic color orange as the banner color which represents hope “to symbolize the brighter future of a world free from violence against women and girls.”

In her message read by Councilor Avegayle Ortiz, presidential daughter and City Mayor Sara Duterte said that the welfare of women and other vulnerable sectors is among the top priorities of the city government.

Duterte said that violence against women must not be condoned, especially those cases that take place in homes, schools, workplaces and barangays.

She reiterated her commitment to adhere to RA 9262 and the Women Development Code.

“We are committed to the implementation of various local programs and policies for women and including the Women Development Code, our women Health Care Clinic which provides reproductive health services, our Sidlakan Women Crisis Center for abused women and our IGDD under the City Mayor’s Office which provides free legal services for VAW cases,” Duterte said.

She vowed to continuously strengthen these programs to better protect Dabawenyas and their children from violence. (Antonio L. Colina IV / MindaNews)