By Leandria Pagunsan
Success trends for Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children (VAWC) cases may not be measured only in terms of conviction, but rather how a woman gets empowered with the knowledge that she is protected of her rights under the laws of RA 9262, says Prosecutor May Flor Duka of the Dumaguete City Prosecutor’s office.
Duka revealed during the recent Kapihan sa PIA forum in observance of Women’s Month celebration that women even in the hinterlands are now aware and knowledgeable of their rights under RA 9262.
Duka as a Prosecutor handling VAWC cases reiterated her stand and belief that success is gained from the moment a woman reports to VAWC desk officers for cases of abuse which the lady prosecutor considers a step towards envisioning RA 9262 slowly showing up with women in Dumaguete City.
She commended their bravery and strength saying that when a VAWC case is dismissed it doesn’t follow that the case is already lost.
“We have other laws to protect them such as barangay protection order and contempt or even if the accused is put behind bars for one day only, and the moment the woman or wife realizes that she can stand by herself without the husband or partner who is the abuser is already a success,”says Duka.
“My other perspective of success is when both parties come up with a solution that is workable for both man and woman and if circumstances served as lessons learned or eye-opener which will eventually save the marriage, in the end, is another big success,” explained Duka.
From her point of view, what they started (advocacy of VAWC laws) will go a long way, “there is hope for these women to make change work for them,” she said..
The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) on their part through its officer-in-charge Rousanna Duran informed that on-going activities like self and social enhancement skills training, capacity building seminar, practical skills development (food processing) and livelihood assistance to 60 organized women groups are being held in the barangay level and at the city social welfare office.
The other lady Prosecutor Lalaine Cimafranca thanked the women present during the forum saying that “the traditional way of interacting with them is they only listen to us, prosecutors but with a forum such as this, they do not only listen, they gave inputs and contributed a lot helping us to work together to achieve success,” said Cimafranca.