In a bid to further protect women and children against gender-based and domestic violence, the Quezon City government has revealed it is constructing a protection shelter and activating a crisis helpline.
According to the QC Gender and Development Office, the city has received a total of 335 incident reports of violence against women and children from different barangays during the quarantine period. These include reports of physical, sexual, psychological, verbal and economical abuse.
Mayor Joy Belmonte said that in response to these reports, the local government prioritizes the construction of a shelter and institutionalization of a crisis help line and online support groups.
“This pandemic has revealed to us the gaps the we need to address in terms of women and children violence. We have been getting reports of individuals who want to leave their homes but do not have anywhere else to go,” said Belmonte.
According to the mayor, the city will soon have a shelter or half-way house under the QC Protection Center (QCPC) that will accept and protect women and children fleeing violence.
The counselling and legal advice the protection center offers, she added, will also be available soon via crisis helpline and online platforms which are already underway.
“Ang pang-aabuso ay walang pinipiling oras. It can happen anytime. So we want to extend services that will attend to women anytime they need, especially if they are in immediate danger,” said Belmonte.
Meanwhile, based on the report President Rodrigo Duterte sent to Congress last week, a total of 3,699 cases of violence against women and children were recorded during the community quarantine period. 74 of these were reported to the Quezon City Police District (QCPD).
The QCPC has assisted the victims and provided them with free legal, medical, and psychological assistance and intervention among others.
The city will also be extending the Tindahan ni Ate Joy livelihood program to include the violence against women (VAW) survivors. Launched in 2012, the said program initially gives sari-sari store startup packages to single parents.