DSWD in Eastern Visayas notes rise in domestic violence cases
TACLOBAN CITY –– The Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Eastern Visayas has noticed an increase in the number of domestic violence cases during the COVID-19 pandemic.
DSWD data showed 567 domestic violence cases that range from physical abuse, acts of lasciviousness, sexual harassment, and rape.
Gilberto Villamor, regional gender and development (GAD) focal person, said the number of domestic violence cases increased during the second quarter of last year.
For that period, 309 cases were reported to their office, compared with 23 of the first quarter.
“Cases of domestic violence became more rampant during the second quarter last year as it was during this period when restrictions were imposed due to the COVID-19 pandemic,” Villamor said.
The number of cases could be higher as some of the victims did not report their situations to the authorities due to the lockdown, he said.
“The perpetrators of these crimes are just within the family-fathers, grandfathers, even uncles. The victims were helpless and remained silent,” he said.
“That is why we at the DSWD are advocating that domestic violence is not a private issue but is a public crime. Victims should report it to the police,” he added.
The restriction on the movement of the people, coupled with stress and economic problems, were among the reasons cited by Villamor for the surge in domestic violence in Eastern Visayas.
Villamor said their office is providing not only psycho-social intervention to victims but also legal services for those who want to file cases.
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