Public urged to stop blaming rape victims, help them put rapists behind bars —CPPO official
CEBU CITY, Philippines — The public is encouraged to stop blaming victims of rape, and to encourage them to seek help from authorities so that rapists will be put behind bars.
This is what Police Lieutenant Colonel Randy Caballes said during a forum on September 5 in Cebu City.
Wearing sexy clothes
Caballes, Cebu Police Provincial Office’s deputy provincial director for operations, said the victims could not be blamed for wearing sexy clothes because they had the right to wear them.
“Dili ta maka-ingon sa ilaha nga ayaw pagsul-ob og sexy kay naa silay freedom to do it. Di sad ta kaingon nila nga mao ni buhata para di mo mahjong biktima kay naa sad silay rights to do it,” he said.
(We cannot tell them don’t wear sexy clothes because they have the freedom to it. We cannot also tell them don’t do that so that you will not be a victim because they also have rights to do it.)
Actions of rapists
Caballes also emphasized that the cause of recent rape cases in Cebu Province was not because of what clothes the victims wore but these were due to the actions and intentions of their rapists.
So instead of giving advice to the victims on what they should wear, Caballes turned to men who planned on committing the crime instead.
“Ang ako ra gyung ma-advice sa aning mga would be suspects, kaning mga lalaki nga — do not do it. Ayawg buhata kay if imo nang buhaton, mafile-an gyud kag kaso. Mapriso ka for the crime of rape,” the police officer said.
(The only advice that I can give to these would-be suspects, these men that — do not do it. Don’t do it because if you will do it, then a case will be filed against them. They will be jailed for the crime of rape.)
3 rape cases in Cebu Province
For the last two weeks of August, three separate cases of rape have happened in Cebu Province.
These include the cases in Toledo City where a 17-year-old girl was raped and killed, and in Carcar City where a 14-year-old girl was allegedly raped by a Chappy cab driver.
Recently also, a man in Argao town in southern Cebu was also arrested after he was accused of raping his 9-year-old daughter several times.
Lawyer Noemi Truya-Abarientos, deputy executive director of the Children’s Legal Bureau (CLB), said that they were alarmed by these cases of rape.
Aside from that, Truya-Abarientos said that she agreed with what Police Lieutenant Colonel Caballes was saying and that the organization was promoting the end of victim blaming.
Public told of effects putting blame on victims
She said that the action of putting the blame on the victims of rape or sexual abuse had become an immediate reaction for many individuals in the country.
She said this action on some of the public would really affect the victims of rape and sexual abuse and this would be one of the reasons that they would not report the crime to authorities.
“Kana gyung victim-blaming man gud, grabe gyud na siyag effect sa biktima. Dili gyud siya moreport kay iyaha gyud huna-hunaon gud — ako man gyud ning sala nga nahitabo ni. It’s happening to me because of me,” she said.
(This victim blaming will greatly affect the victim. She will not report the crime done to her because she will think that — I am at fault here that this happened. It’s happening to me because of me.)
Only 1 out 10 rape cases reported
She said that this was reflected on the fact that only 1 out of 10 rape cases had been reported to authorities and this development was influenced by the victims’ hesitance to come forward for fear of being ridiculed.
“Ang pinakasakit siguro nga feeling sa usa ka violated nga victim of rape is to be blamed (by the public) ngano nahitabo to sa imoha,” she said.
(The most painful feeling for one victim of rape, who was violated, is to be blamed (by the public) on why this happened to her.)
“Kay usahay, mao may first nato nga instance, nagsexy-sexy siguro ka…as if imong sala ngano narape ka. So do not judge if there is a person reporting to you nga narape,” said Truya-Abarientos.
(Because sometimes, that is our first reaction, perhaps you acted sexy…as if you are the reason that you were raped. So do not judge if there is a person reporting to you that she was raped.)
Public told: It should start from home
She also said that the courage to seek help from others must begin at home which was why it would be necessary for mothers learn to recognize that the victims was not at fault.
Rape cases, especially within families, have increased during the pandemic, according to data by the police.
Caballes said that in Talisay City, where he was previously assigned as station commander, the most common types of crime were theft, robbery, and rape since January to the present.
The police officer said that out of the rape cases they had handled, the most common was between fathers and daughters who were minors.
Factors for rise in rape cases
He said the significant increase recently had been influenced by many factors such as increased illegal drug activity.
“However, dili nato siya ma-conclude gyud that it’s because of drugs. Because ang pag-rape nimo sa isa ka tawo, is imoha man gyud nang personal action. Imoha nang kagustohan, whether you are into drugs or not…You are liable,” he said.
(However, we cannot conclude that it’s because of drugs. Because your raping one person ins your own personal action. That is what you want, whether you are into drugs or not…You are liable.)
“Dili ka pwede nga because hubog, nakarape ko. Because nakadrugs ko or under pressure ko daghan kog problema, nakarape ko. Imong girape kay nangrape ka…You are accountable sa imong action,” said Caballes.
(You cannot say that because you are drunk that you raped somebody. Because you are into drugs or under pressure and you have many problems, you will rape someone. You raped somebody because you raped someone…You are accountable to your action.)
Rape done by choice
Caballes said that rapes were done by choice and that there were no excuses for the perpetrators as to why they did the crime.
He also assured that police were countering these rising problem of rape.
He said that the regional and provincial police directors had issued directives to focus on the problem of rape.
Aside from that, Caballes also cited the police efforts to have an information drive in schools.
“Our police will visit schools para ma-educate ang atong mga estudyante. They will [coordinate with] kaning mga NGOs, kaning mga non-government organizations and other stakeholders nga ilang ma-partner whatever activities nga mabuhat nila sa ground para ma-address ning cases of rape,” he said.
(Our police will visit schools to educate our students on this. They will [coordinate with] these NGOs, these nongovernment organizations, and other stakeholders that are their partners in whatever activities they are doing in the ground to address these cases of rape.)
Public assured: Cops addressing problem
He said that the station commanders of every station were also instructed to intensify their presence in public, most especially in areas that were prone to these types of crimes.
He assured that these steps had been fully implemented in the province and that the CPPO would be closely monitoring if there would be changes in the coming months.
Caballes appealed to the public to seek help from authorities in instances of rape in order to give justice to the victims.
“Ang ato lang appeal sa mga victims nga if ever na-experience nila kanang mga sexual assault or victim gyud sila og mga rape cases, ang ila gyud maduolan is ang atong kapulisan. Mo-report sila para ma-address,” he said.
Cops appeal to victims
(Our appeal to the victims that if ever they experienced this sexual assault or they are victims of rape, they can go to the police station. They should report this so that this problem would be addressed.)
Aside from the police, Caballes also said that if the victims would not be comfortable going to the police, then they could relay their experiences to agencies that they would be comfortable and that could help them.
“Naa sad tay DSWD. So asa nga mga agencies nga feel comfortable sila nga mosulti sa ilang situation, pwede sila moadto,” he said.
(We have the DSWD [Department of Social Welfare and Development]. So whichever agencies that they would be comfortable to report their situation, then they can also go there.)
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