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Men too needed in VAW movements

CALAMBA CITY, Laguna (PIA) – Should men be relied upon to support movements that would end violence against women and other forms of domestic violence?

The Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) organized the Men Opposed to Violence Against Women Everywhere (MOVE) in 2006 to involve men, considered at the heart of domestic violence, in ending gender-based violence against women and children.

Social Welfare Officer Ricky Bunao of the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) in Calabarzon agrees that men should be engaged in civil and community-based movements addressing violence against women and children (VAWC). 

“Most of our programs are victim-focused, but we can also come up with interventions that focus on the offenders and perpetrators,” Bunao said during the Calabarzon Regional Peace and Order Council (RPOC) meeting on September 15  where the reported gender-based crimes in the region was discussed. 

He added: “In fact, we had a lecture on how men can be engaged to provide solutions so they [women, children, and Persons With Disabilities] would be free from violence.”

Since 2006, MOVE has grown to an organization of men who committed themselves to actively promote the elimination of VAW. It includes men from different sectors including the government, private sector, academe, and non-government organizations. 

Local MOVE groups have been established in Aklan, Sultan Kudarat, Northern Samar, Southern Leyte, and Quezon Province, while national government agencies (NGAs) such as the National Police Commission (NAPOLCOM) and the DSWD have also established their own MOVE groups. 

In Calabarzon, a Quezon province MOVE chapter was organized while the Regional Development Council (RDC) led by Batangas Governor Hermilando Mandanas also adopted MOVE in the local government units, national agencies, and other institutions. 

Bunao said Mandanas signed a resolution adopting MOVE in Calabarzon.

“If we can replicate that in Calabarzon, then we can help each other to address [VAWC]. And if the barangays are engaged in this, VAWC can be prevented in the barangays and need not be elevated to the DSWD,” he added.

In the same RPOC meeting, the Philippine National Police (PNP) reported  that gender-based violence has become one of the most prevalent crimes in Calabarzon, second to theft during the first eight months of 2023. However, PNP Calabarzon reported a downward trend in reported rape cases, from 908 in 2022 to 794 this year. Theft remains the most prevalent crime in the region, with 1,199 reported cases from January to August 2023.

In Carmona, Cavite, police chief Lt. Col. Jefferson Ison mentioned that schools have welcomed the presence of uniformed personnel to protect children from sexual abuse. 

“I think Carmona is one of the contributors in the recorded data of rape cases in Calabarzon. On August 12 alone, we recorded six rape cases. This is only a backlog from the pandemic because these were reported late. During our school visitations, more have come forward to report their cases,” Ison said. 

While their campaign may not necessarily reduce the incidents of rape in the city, Ison said that the increased police presence will encourage residents to report cases. 

“(Beyond) decreasing the number of rape cases, (this) will stop the agony of the victims,” Ison added.

Meanwhile, Binangonan Mayor Cesar Ynares acknowledged the prevalence of rape culture, especially on social media, which influences teenagers negatively and disregards women's rights and safety.

“These contents can influence our teenagers, and we can do nothing to censor them. Even a five-year old child can watch these videos because they automatically appear [on social media], and it can negatively influence the youth,”  Ynares said. 

To further address cybercrimes related to gender-based violence, the PNP Regional Anti-Cybercrime Unit (RACU 4A) has started training personnel who will specialize in investigating cybercrimes. Each police station in Calabarzon will have two designated investigators for cybercrime-related incidents, including cybersex and child pornography. (PB - PIA CALABARZON)

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Patricia Bermudez


Region 4A

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