DAVAO CITY—The number of cases of violence against women in the city has more than doubled in six years, which women’s groups said is a sign that the abuse of women here has not eased.
Leah Emily Minoza, executive director of the Women Studies and Resource Center (WSRC) in Southern Mindanao, said it was ironic that the number of cases of violence against women increased sharply here, which is the country’s first city to pass a Women’s Development Code, an ordinance incorporating all laws protecting women’s rights.
She cited records being kept by WSRC that showed an increasing number of cases of abuse of women in the city.
In 2004, 184 cases of abuse were reported. This increased to 422 in 2005, 815 in 2006, 1,034 in 2007, 1,155 in 2008 and 1,634 in 2010.
“This is an average increase of nearly 800 percent,” said Miñoza.
5 cases a day
From January to October this year alone, at least 1,391 cases of domestic violence have been reported to the city police, she said.
“This meant [about] five cases per day, or one case filed every five hours,” Miñoza said.
“Domestic violence remains the most prevalent form of gender violence against women,” she said.
“All existing laws protecting the rights of women failed to protect women,” said Lyda Canson, chair emeritus of Gabriela Davao, at the start of Monday’s local version of the international campaign to end violence against women.
Canson said the violence that women continue to suffer from could be blamed on “two-thirds of our mind-set [that] has been rooted in society’s existing feudal and patriarchal culture, where women have been held subordinate to men.”
Gabriela and 46 other women’s groups in the city spread out a clothesline with dirty laundry hanging on it as a form of protest against the continuing violence against women.
Miñoza said the good news is that there is now an increasing level of awareness among women on their rights. Germelina Lacorte and Ayan C. Mellejor, Inquirer Mindanao