FIGHTING BACK Rise in rape cases seen due to victims coming forward

Davao City Councilor Avegayle Dalodo-Ortiz clarified on Tuesday that more and more victims of rape and sexual abuses are fighting back by coming forward to reveal of their plight.

“This could be the reason for the increase in number of rape cases as victims are no longer hiding but are now more aware and ready to fight,” she said in a press conference.

Hence the report on Davao City having the most number of rape and sexual abuses should be taken with a positive note, she added.

Dalodo-Ortiz, chairman of the committee on women, children and family relation, said she is now planning to implement a more serious campaign on rape to further explain to the public their rights in helping prevent rape in their communities.

“The awareness campaign that we are doing now regarding women and children’s rights, I believe it would be fitting to also strengthen family values and responsible parenthood in the community,” Dalodo-Ortiz added.

Dalodo-Ortiz said that based on the statistics presented by authorities on the number of rape cases in the city is very alarming.

From the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) report showed that there were 95 rape cases recorded for the 1st semester of 2018.

The most number of rape cases occurred in the area of operations of the Talomo Police Station, which covers areas from Catalunan Pequeño to Maa. This followed by the areas covered by the Toril Police Station.

The data also revealed that 33 offenders have no relation to the victim, two were strangers, seven were fathers, seven were stepfathers, four grandfathers, 10 uncles, four were boyfriends, six cousins, six friends, two were brothers, one co-worker, and 13 neighbors or acquaintances.

From the DCPO report, majority of the victims are children, where crimes committed are usually “within the confines of homes and perpetrators are relatives, usually under the influence of alcohol.”

She added that the increase number of rape cases may be brought about by the increase in the awareness of people’s right, the awareness of the rights of women and children in particular, that they should report cases of abuse to the authorities.

“This could be attributed to the accessible services and support in the local government as well as programs and projects that help victims of rape and sexual abuses,” said Dalodo-Ortiz.

She said that about 90 percent of barangays in the city having a Children and Women Protection Desk and where most of the cases were referred to the barangay, others were referred to Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and City’s Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO) and other were filed in the court, while cases were referred to police and private lawyers.

“The city government’s anti-child abuse hotline team, Kean Hotline is also an avenue to report cases of rape and sexual abuses,” said Dalodo-Ortiz

Dalodo-Ortiz added that DCPO also deploy “kinder cops”, a five-member women team of police to go around schools to educate about bad and good touch and when does rape happen.

“Through these programs by the government, victims, become more aware on what to do and how to report cases of rape,” said Dalodo-Ortiz

“I hope this would enrich our understanding of the reasons, both positive and negative, behind the surging number of cases of sexual abuse against women and children in Davao City,” she added.