PNP with WCPD trained to handle VAWC cases

ILOILO CITY - Police officers manning the Women and Children Protection Desks (WCPD) in Western Visayas are armed with the necessary trainings to handle cases of violence against women and children (VAWC).

Police Chief Inspector Joem Malong, chief of the WCPD of Police Regional Office 6 said these officers are required to undergo gender sensitivity training, specialized course for WCPD officers and criminal investigation course, among others.

There are about 445 of them assigned in all police stations region wide.

“When it comes to cases of women and children, these are very sensitive, and officers handling these cases should be properly trained to avoid discrimination and insensitivity,” said Malong during an interview over PIA Kapihan Regionwide radio program of the Philippine Information Agency - Iloilo.

She also said WCPDs are open 24 hours to accept complaints and calls for assistance giving topmost importance on complaints on any abuses committed against women and children or under Republic Act 9262 otherwise known as “The Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004”.

Among the acts of violence or abuses covered by R.A. 9262 are physical violence, sexual violence, psychological violence, and economic abuse.

“Everyday, there is a reported case of violence against women,” said Malong.

However, she noted a significant decrease in VAW cases from January to October this year in Western Visayas.

Based on the latest statistics from PRO 6-WCPD, a total of 2,338 cases of VAW were recorded across the region during the period which is 31.40 percent or 1,070 cases decrease compared to the 3,408 cases for the same period in 2016.

The most prevalent act of violence is physical abuse numbering to 1,317.

Malong said the significant drop is due to the efforts made by the PNP in collaboration with the local government units and other concerned agencies to end VAW such as strengthening of VAWC Desks through trainings and conduct of advocacy activities in the prevention and reduction of abuse cases in the grassroots.

She said President Rodrigo Duterte’s campaign on illegal drugs has also contributed in the decrease of VAW cases.

“Women now are more aware of their rights and VAW victims are not afraid to seek assistance from the police,” said Malong.

She encouraged Ilonggos to continue to cooperate with their police to end VAW by helping stop the culture of silence on violence and abuses committed against women.

As part of their continuing efforts, PRO-6 WCPD has scheduled advocacy activities such as poster making contest, storytelling to children, and lectures in barangays that will also mark this year’s 18-day Campaign to End VAW observance until December 12 in the region. (JCM/LAF-PIA6-Iloilo)

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