Editorial: Rape, silence, injustice

·2 min read

A woman in a village in Asturias, a town in northwest Cebu, was sound asleep beside her two children, one of whom is still an infant, when she was awoken by a noise in the wee hours of Sunday, July 17, 2022. She then saw a man, not a stranger as he’s the cousin of her live-in partner, climbing over the window.

The subsequent events went by like a flash. The man approached her after getting inside the house, choked her, then threatened to harm her and her two children if she would scream.

Then came the scene beyond evil: The man raped her in the presence of her two children. He fled after the crime.

It happened when the woman’s common-law husband was away: He was in Cebu City as he was earning bread for the family as a construction worker.

The woman could not defend herself as she was overpowered. Her two children could not defend their mother for obvious reasons.

Rape is sexual violence. Another form of violence, a psychological one, is engaging children in internet-based pornographic streaming. Just last July 13, police and other government agencies jointly rescued eight children from a house in Barangay Luz, Cebu City that was a facade for cybersex operations. Authorities arrested the suspect, a woman.

Sexually assaulting a woman and engaging hapless children in online pornography for the sake of profit for the adult culprit are indeed violence. In the Philippines, violence against women and children are pervasive issues.

Ending violence against women and children is an ongoing battle. It requires lots of effort from the community and law enforcement agencies to stop it.

Victims also must come forward to bring their abusers to justice.

As for the rape victim in Asturias, she immediately told her live-in partner what had happened to her after he arrived at their house Sunday. The couple reported the incident to the police station, which then deployed a team to arrest the suspect, who was eventually caught later in the day.

Had the woman dwelt in silence and kept the suspect’s crime a secret, the police could not have acted right away; the suspect could have fled to another town and hidden for years.

A victim’s silence begets justice’s silence. A victim’s silence begets injustice.

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