‘VAWC’ cases rise in Cordillera
BAGUIO CITY—About 1,065 cases of violence against women and children (VAWC) have been recorded from January to September this year, the Regional Council for the Welfare of Children (RCWC) in the Cordillera has revealed.
Florita Paragas, RCWC regional coordinator, said numerous VAWC cases go unreported, especially in the remote villages of the region, thus the number of cases could be larger than what has been recorded in the different social welfare and development offices.
“We are more concerned about the unreported cases, especially among the elite and those in the rural areas. We have to increase the awareness of our people to the importance of reporting VAWC cases to the concerned authorities so that appropriate interventions could be done to the parties,” Paragas stressed.
The Regional Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking and Violence Against Women and their Children obtained the data from the Department of Social Welfare and Development, Commission on Human Rights, Department of Health, Department of Justice, National Bureau of Investigation, Save Our Women, and the Police Regional Office-Cordillera, among other organizations.
Paragas said most of the reported VAWC cases are domestic violence and trafficking. Child abuse cases are also on the rise because of the information and education campaign being waged by some agencies for these vulnerable sectors, she added.
She called on the public to help the authorities in probing VAWC cases that happen in their places by reporting to the police or the social welfare offices, so that abused women and children could be spared from imminent danger.
Children who are exposed to violence at an early age have the tendency to commit violence once they become older, Paragas warned, and that such incidents could be graver compared to what they have experienced.
She said it is difficult to monitor VAWC cases in rural areas because the concerned parties end up settling the case before it is brought to the authorities, considering the negative effect of these cases to the close ties among families in these places.
Paragas admitted that abused women and children belonging to elite families also seek assistance from concerned agencies not in the places where the abuses were committed but in other places where they are not known, to preserve the reputation of their families.