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Commission advocates for enhanced safeguards for women experiencing domestic violence

By Mary Judaline Partlow

In Dumaguete City, the Provincial Commission on Women (PCW) of Negros Oriental is urging for stricter measures to safeguard the well-being of women facing domestic violence, marking the beginning of National Women’s Month this March with a month-long campaign.

PCW Vice Chair Phoebe Tan addressed reporters, expressing concern over an apparent increase in cases of domestic violence in the province, many of which go unreported to authorities. Exact figures are challenging to ascertain, as data from various sources such as law enforcement, women’s advocacy groups, and similar organizations differ.

Tan emphasized the importance of implementing additional measures involving men in combating violence against women, highlighting the crucial role husbands can play. She lamented the recurring cycle where abused women often fail to pursue complaints against their spouses, leading to a normalization of violence within relationships.

Despite the prevalence of domestic violence, Tan noted that not a single case of wife battery has been formally filed against a man in Negros Oriental, presenting a significant challenge for intervention efforts.

Describing domestic violence as distressingly commonplace and integrated into relationship dynamics, Tan proposed counseling for men involved in abuse cases and advocated for close monitoring of such individuals. She stressed the importance of achieving a balance between punitive measures and rehabilitation.

The Women’s Month celebration in Negros Oriental aims to promote gender equality and inclusivity, inviting participation from men and members of the LGBTQ community in various activities throughout March.

Woman with disability

Meanwhile, 49-year-old Jerlyn Cabugnason shared her journey and challenges as a woman with a disability during the kick-off ceremony at a local hotel here.

Cabugnason, who hails from Manjuyod, Negros Oriental, met an accident several years ago while being employed in Metro Manila, causing her to be unable to walk and rely on a wheelchair.

She admitted having hit her lowest, attempting to commit suicide a few times but decided to rise above the challenges.

“I prayed hard and even questioned God about my fate, but persisted relentlessly while helping other PWDs (persons with disability),” Cabugnason said while thanking government agencies and private groups for helping empower women like her.

She engaged in cross-stitch embroidery and with the help of family and friends and social media, now earns income to cover her daily needs, including adult diapers.

Cabugnason was awarded the Babayeng Garbo sa Katilingban 2023, a search conducted by the provincial government for exceptional women who inspire others with their life stories and excel in their chosen fields. (PNA)

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