Violence Report in Bagong Silang
It is our pleasure to announce that the study on violence in our project site in Bagong Silang is now online. The research is a collaboration between DIGNTY/RCT and Balay. You may download the article using the link at the bottom of the page. Below is a brief introduction of the research report.
During the latter part of Marcos regime, Bagong Silang [New Birth] was established as a relocation site for the thousands of squatters about to be dislocated from their homes around metro—Manila to clear land for economic development, roads or otherwise. Some were forcibly moved to Bagong Silang, which is located far away from main economic activity. Others saw life in Bagong Silang as the possibility for a new beginning. Many of the areas from where the resettled people came were quite violent. Inter-personal violence occurred on a regular basis and crime rates were said to be high. Furthermore, state violence in different forms was also rumoured to be high, as was the violence perpetrated by land owners in order to persuade people to move from the contested land. None of these forms of violence disappeared with the establishment of Bagong Silang. From these initial days of violence, Bagong Silang has maintained a reputation of being a violent and dangerous place with high crime rates, gangs and fraternities are stable elements in the social life in Bagong Silang, as is state or state—endorsed violence, although, as we shall see, at a lower level and nature of violence in Bagong Silang and most accounts remain anecdotal or build on hearsay or stereotypes of the poor and the different. This report attempts to address this lack of knowledge. It is based on several different sets of data: a victimization survey, a database of all reports made to the local adjudicating body [Katarungang Pambarangay], interviews with residents and law enforcement agencies as well as ethnographic observations. The central part of the data set is the victimization survey, the rest of the data is used to understand and explain the results of the survey. The survey explores (1) the nature and extent of violence in Bagong Silang, (2) the emotional, physical and material impact violence have on people’s lives and (3) what victims of crime and violence do to seek redress. On the basis of the results from the survey, the report explores two issues in depth – inter-personal violence in communities and state-perpetrated violence. The results from the victimization survey are presented in Chapter 3, whereas Chapter 4 explores interpersonal violence and its relation to notions of community and Chapter 5 explores state violence. In Chapter 6, we outline some of the possible consequences the conclusions of the report have for Balay’s intervention in Bagong Silang.
Through this study, we aim to establish better understanding of the nature and extent of interpersonal, communal and state violence in Bagong Silang in order to provide an evidence—based foundation for interventions. Balay Rehabilitation Center, lnc in Manila and DIGNITY — Danish Institute against Torture in Copenhagen have been involved in an intervention project in Bagong Silang since 2007. The project focuses on young people in conflict with the law. It offers psycho—social and legal services to victims of state violence. It also aims to prevent state violence by addressing the structural conditions that put young people at risk of torture, cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment by the state and a life of criminality and violence.
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