DAGUPAN CITY – The city’s campaign on the implementation of “The Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 resulted in lower case of abuse, from 26  in 2016 to seven in 2017.

This was reported by Ma. Trizia R. dela Cruz, Social Welfare Assistant at the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) and the city’s focal person at the Women’s Center, to Mayor Belen T. Fernandez in her first visit and meeting with the CSWDO personnel this year on January 4.

Dela Cruz attributed the significant decrease in number of cases to the mayor’s directive on empowering women with regards to their rights through the city’s awareness campaign on women’s rights and the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004 in the barangays.

“We also gave them (women) free legal aid, spiritual counseling and psycho-social counseling to help them in decision making,” said Dela Cruz.

The Women Center, which started operating in 2017, also catered to 16 walk-in clients who sought the center’s legal assistance and advice on Republic Act No. 9262.

In line with the celebration of the Women’s Month this March Dela Cruz has outlined several activities to be undertaken, which will focus on the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004, bullying and suicide.

“We will saturate the barangays to make our women  more aware of their rights especially on the provisions of the law protecting them and their children against any form of violence, be it physical or verbal or economic abuse,” said dela Cruz.

There will also be a slogan-making contest for women, a search for ‘Natatanging Eba’ where every barangay will have its own candidate, training on self-defense and first aid, and skills training on making-rags.

The search for ‘Natatanging Eba’ is about women with exceptional achievements in life that is worthy to be replicated by other women to inspire and be a model to them.

“We also considered training them on self-defense and first aid, which is something they can use to defend and save themselves and others, too in times of crisis in partnership with the PNP and the City Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office,” said Dela Cruz.

We will also teach them on making rags that they may become self-sufficient and become a skilled worker added dela Cruz.

As an advice Dela Cruz encouraged couples to maintain a good marital management to keep away from misunderstandings that result in sexual, verbal and financial abuses.

“Magandang pinag-uusapan ng mag-asawa ang mga bagay which concern their family life including the way to discipline their children. Higit sa lahat alamin natin ang karapatan ng bawat isa and exercise respect and mutual understanding sa bahay,” said Dela Cruz. (Joseph C. Bacani/CIO/Jan. 5, 2018)