Solon seeks probe into rising cases of abuse vs women, kids during pandemic
MANILA, Philippines — Deputy Speaker and Las Piñas Rep. Camille Villar is seeking an investigation into the rise of violence against and sexual exploitation of women and children during the coronavirus pandemic.
Under House Resolution No. 1581, Villar cited the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) which recorded 13,923 cases of violence against women and children from the start of the lockdown on March 15, 2020 up to November 30, 2020.
Of these cases, Villar said 4,747 were cases of abuse against children.
“We need to tackle this issue as this seems to be neglected and victims are left with their abusers at home. We need to also determine what are the possible and immediate measures to mitigate the effects of violence and strengthen support services for the victims,” Villar said in a statement.
Citing the 2017 National Demographic and Health Survey conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority, Villar said only one out of three Filipino women who have experienced abuse sought help to stop it.
The House leader said the statistics of victims coming forward to report instances of abuse “show the weakness in enforcement despite several laws that were approved to protect women and children from violence.”
Among the laws in place are Republic Act No. 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 to address all forms of abuse and violence against women and children, R.A. 7877 or the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act of 1995, and R.A. 11313 or the Safe Spaces Act were enacted to ensure protection of women, discourage any form of violence against them and penalize unlawful acts.
“We have to spread awareness that reporting incidents of abuse is crucial to reducing cases especially in difficult times like the pandemic as people have limited person-to-person access,” Villar said.
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