Mayor Sara: City Hall fighting sex abuse

Mayor Sara Z. Duterte cited the positive impact of the local government’s interventions to prevent the occurrence of incestuous rape cases in the city.


Mayor Sara noted that compared to the first six months last year, the number of incestuous rape cases has dropped to 90 in the same period this year.

She attributed the decrease to the partnership between the local government and the community, leading to increased engagements with victims and vulnerable sectors, especially children. 

Through the heightened information and education campaign on sexuality and sexual abuse, Mayor Sara said vulnerable individuals are better equipped to determine when a touch by a family member is no longer appropriate and acceptable.

“I can truthfully say that there was action and positive effect,” the mayor said in a press statement released Friday evening.

The mayor assured that the local government has taken rape cases seriously, bringing the matter to the Davao City Peace and Order Council last year.
She said it was during this discussion that authorities discovered that many of the rape cases were “incestuous” or perpetrated by a family member, as well as by people personally close to the victim, such as friends and neighbors.

She also underlined the immediate response of the city government through the City Social Services and Development Office (CSSDO), which conducted a research on the matter and implemented corresponding programs to address these types of sex crimes.

“These interventions spearheaded by the CSSDO resulted in a significant drop in the incidence of rape cases from 120 in 2017 to 95 in 2018, both in the same period of January to June as reported by DCPO (Davao City Police Office) City Director Alexander Tagum, citing the rape data of the Women and Children Protection Desk (WCPD) Investigation and Detection Management Board (IDMB),” Mayor Sara pointed out.

The positive results, the mayor maintained, should also factor in the media reportage of President Rodrigo Duterte’s recent joke that drew strong reactions from critics.

Turning the tables on the President’s critics “who hate his guts and humor,” the presidential daughter said: “What have you done to help?”
Records obtained by the Philippine News Agency (PNA) from DCPO showed that for the 95 rape cases in the past six month, 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.

Earlier, members of the Davao City Council called on government agencies to further strengthen the local government’s family values programs.
In a resolution passed early this week, the legislative body also called for the creation of Children and Women Concerns Unit in health centers and hospitals.

Councilor Joselle Villafuerte described the alarming cases of rape as “disturbing,” noting that these happened inside the homes of the victims and involved their own family members.

Villafuerte said the high number was due to efficient reporting of sexual abuse cases in the city.

Incest should not continue to be an “unspeakable secret,” she said, pointing out that this could result in serious mental health issues and may even lead to suicide. (PNA)

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