VAWC cases in Baguio up by 35 percent

BAGUIO CITY June 20 – The Baguio city Police Office (BCPO) disclosed that violence against women and children the city from January 1 to the present increased by 35 percent with some 82 recorded cases compared to the 61 cases that were reported to the police during the same period last year.

Police Capt. Mercedes Bucalen, chief of the BCPO women and children protection desk (WCPD), claimed that the drastic increase in the violence against women and children cases should be viewed in a positive manner because the victims of violence are now empowered to report abuses on them unlike before that it was difficult for them to convince victims to report to the police abuses committed on them.

She added that for the same period, there were 22 rape cases that were reported by the victims wherein 15 cases were subjected to regular filing before the city prosecutor's office while 7 cases were filed in court through inquest proceedings.

Further, the BCPO-WCPD was able to also document 20 cases of violence against children wherein the said cases are either psychological or physical abuses on the victims who were turned over to the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) for counselling and appropriate interventions for them to be able to recover from their bad experiences.

"Our personnel continue to undergo the required trainings for us to be able to effectively and efficiently handle the sensitive cases being referred to us. We consider the violence against women and children cases as highly sensitive that is why we need well trained and skilled investigators to be able to death with the said cases," Bucalen stressed.

The police official claimed that BCPO is grateful to the support of the local government led by Mayor Mauricio G. Domogan for the all-out support that it continues to provide the BCPO for them to be able to fulfil their mandate in serving and protecting the residents and make Baguio city as decent place to study, work, live and do business.

She said that because of the massive information dissemination being conducted by concerned government agencies, the local government and private organizations advocating for the protection of women's and children's rights through the years, many victims of violence against women and children are now being convinced to immediately report to the concerned authorities abuses being done against them for the filing of the appropriate cases against the suspects in the proper courts.

She encouraged victims of violence against women and children to immediately report the abuses being committed against them by the suspects who happen to be members of their families so that the appropriate interventions could be done by the authorities so that the suspects will not repeat the committed abuses or that the abusers will face the appropriate charges that will be filed against them by their victims to serve as a lesson to them not to commit the same offense in the future.

Bucalen revealed that the BCPO-WCPD continues to closely coordinate with the concerned government agencies and private organizations advocating for women's and children's rights for the provision of whatever technical assistance to its investigators for them to advance their skills and knowledge in handing violence against women and children cases being brought to their attention. By Dexter A. See

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