ICPO sounds alarm over surge in rape cases

THE Women and Children’s Protection Desk (WCPD) of the Iloilo City Police Office (ICPO) raised alarm on the surge in rape cases in just a week.

Based on WCPD data, not one rape case was reported from July 23 to July 29, 2018.

But the following week, from July 30 to August 5, four cases happened in City Proper, La Paz, Jaro, and Arevalo districts.

The common denominator of all four cases: the victims knew the assailants.

“The suspects are someone that the victims knew and trusted,” said Senior Inspector Shella Mae Sangrines, WCPD chief and ICPO spokesperson.

Of the four, one case involved a minor.

The one involving a minor is a case of incest that happened in La Paz wherein the father was accused of raping his daughter.

“For the other three cases, these happened during gatherings among friends,” Sangrines said.

As such, Sangrines’ office has again embarked on activities to raise awareness by conducting information dissemination and issue safety reminders to the public.

“Anybody can be a victim – women, children, and even men. The latest incidents have proven that even the people we trusted so much could betray into abusing us,” she added.

Sangrines said rape is a serious offense and people should treat it as that.

“That’s why we always advise the victim to file charges. Once it reaches our office, we want charges to be filed. We always want to serve justice to the victims,” she added.

But Sangrines acknowledged that some victims would later settle the cases with their aggressors.

Some have agreed to accept monetary settlement while some suspects would offer marriage to their victims

“We try to extend every possible help we could give to the victims. We hope that they would also cooperate with us in prosecuting the suspects,” she added.

On Wednesday, the ICPO-WCPD discussed Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC) cases in a forum called by the Office of the Ombudsman-Visayas.

“We discuss the situations and share some interventions on how not to be a victim,” Sangrines said.

They also presented statistics on VAWC cases in Western Visayas.

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