In just a week before proceeding to the Child Safety Month of October, two separate rape incidents involving minors were reported to and documented by UnYPhil-Women. “Marie” and “Brenda” (not their real names) are just the latest victims of violence against women and children that needs attention and intervention from concerned state and nongovernmental agencies.

Alicia, Zamboanga Sibugay

Seven year old Marie came home on the morning of September 23 with her pants soaked with blood. There was also blood on her head; and her face, shoulder, and neck was also bruised and swollen. Upon seeing the child, her grandmother inquired as to what happened. The child then narrated her horrifying experience which until now brings terror to her young mind.

Marie was sitting by a waiting shed when a man snatched her and brought her to the bushes nearby and started desecrating her young body. The man punched her in the mouth and slapped her numerously, even hitting her eyes, when she started crying and calling for help. Still unsatisfied, the man choked her and hit her head with a rock that made her lost her consciousness. When she woke up, she was already covered with coconut palm leaves.

Marie was able to identify the perpetrator as he was one of their neighbors. The suspect is now under the custody of Alicia Police Station.

Marie was admitted to Alicia District Hospital but was afterwards forwarded to Zamboanga City Hospital for her to be examined by a specialist. On September 25, Marie was taken inside the operating room due to the lacerations in her sensitive area. Until now, Marie is bleeding profusely.

Pigcawayan, North Cotabato

Sixteen year old Brenda was washing clothes on the afternoon of September 30 when her neighbor, a certain Nonong, called her to get inside his house. As she always watches TV and movies in the house of the perpetrator, she did what she was told. Upon entering the house, Nonong pushed her down into the bed, pulled down her short pants and panty, held her hands real tight, and forcibly entered her private area. He even pushed aside her brassiere and sucked on her breasts. He then threatened her afterwards not to tell anyone or he will kill her.

The perpetrator was brought to the police by his siblings but managed to escape and currently on the loose.

Both cases have been reported to their respective police office and MSWDO. However, both victims also need further financial and medical assistance as they are now suffering from trauma due to their experience.

It entails the rigorous effort of every group and individual to curtail these vile actions and heavily persecute the perpetrators. UnYPhil-Women hopes that the promise of a just and enduring peace in Mindanao will also bring about a society wherein gender will no longer be exploited to bring about physical, emotional, and psychological harm. After all, that is what is called gender justice.

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