Think tank: Rape happens in PH every 53 minutes
A research institution focusing on women’s issues expressed concern on Wednesday over the infamous remarks made by leading presidential candidate and Davao City Mayor Rodrigo Duterte on the rape and murder of an Australian lay missionary in 1989 which drew flak from various sectors.
The Center for Women’s Resources (CWR) said that under the current administration, the number of recorded rape cases increased by 92 percent: from 5,132 in 2010 to 9,875 in 2014. This meant that a woman or a child was raped every 53 minutes.
The center also revealed that seven in 10 victims of violence were children and that violations of Republic Act No. 9262 or Anti-Violence against Women and their Children Act have jumped by 200 percent from 2010 to 2014.
“Reducing the issue of rape to ridicule is alarming because the reality shows that every 53 minutes, a woman or child is raped. Everybody cringes with such information. Every woman or girl feels unsafe,” said CWR executive director Jojo Guan.
She said Duterte’s proclamation at a campaign sortie that he should have been first to rape 36-year-old Jacqueline Hamill was not the first instance that rape was trivialized.
Guan hit the Aquino administration for supposedly fostering an environment where victims could not obtain justice as the perpetrators enjoyed impunity.
“Government records showed that of the 9,445 rape cases reported, only 59 percent were filed in court. Victims were usually discouraged in pursuing their cases because of the expensive litigation and the slow judicial process especially that most of them belong to the lowest wealth quintile,” she said.
Aside from the low percentage of rape cases filed in court, the center also pointed out that “persistent poverty and crisis resulting from the implementation of antiwomen, antipoor neoliberal policies” have aggravated the condition of women.
“The proliferation of violence is caused by an existing culture that promotes exploitation and subjugation of women especially in the lowest echelon of society. It is a culture where the powerful dominates the powerless. Such domination is translated in the treatment of women, especially those who belong to the marginalized sector,” Guan said.
Duterte has drawn flak for his statements from his rivals, netizens, and even international media. His camp has released conflicting statements stating that the tough-talking mayor has apologized for his remarks.
On Tuesday, PDP-Laban issued a statement where Duterte supposedly said sorry for his gaffe. However, Duterte himself later that day maintained that he would not be forced to apologize and that what he said was not a joke.
Duterte remains the front-runner in various opinion polls, beating erstwhile top contender Sen. Grace Poe. RC
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