A dialogue raising awareness on violence against women (VAW) as a public issue of national concern was held as part of the 3rd national event of the Babaenihan campaign. The event was attended by the Grade 12 students and faculty of Juan Sumulong High School.
Babaenihan is a joint project of the Office of the Vice President (OVP) which is observed annually from November 25 to December 12 as proclaimed by Proclamation 1172 s. 2006 in support of the Government’s goal in protecting the human rights of women and its commitment to address all forms of VAW.
Included in the panel are the UNFPA country representative Klaus Beck, executive director of the Coalition Against Trafficking in Women-Asia Pacific (CATW-AP) Ms. Jean Enriquez, and Vice President Leni Robredo.
During the dialogue students asked what abuses are and what should they do when it happens to them? They were given explanation on the causes of abuse, what to do about abuse, and a few tips from preventing it. One glaring fact that stood out from said dialogue is that unknowingly, in some part of our lives when it comes to relationship, we are also victims of abuses, however small it seems.
VP Robredo listed the various forms of abuses in a relationship and pointed out how abuses start from small acts then turned bigger because for some they thought those acts were normal. She said that once, he/she began to control your way of thinking, alienate you from your friends, wants your attention all the time, doesn’t want you to talk to other people, reads phone messages without your permission, and/or always spoil for a fight, you should be wary of these signs.
On the part of Mr. Klaus, he said to the young girls in the audience how it is better to prevent abuse than to stop it. He later counseled them on relationship: “Any relationship that doesn’t make you feel better about yourself, make you grow as an individual and as a couple is not the right relationship—and that’s the same whether it’s with a girl or a boy.”
Abuses involve complex layers, in the end it is good for the victim to have the need to be independent because dependence, according to VP Robredo is a common cause for women allowing abuse to happen to them, be it emotional or financial dependence. Being dependent have the tendency to make one clingy.
Here’s a reality check on Violence against Women according to the 2013 NDH Survey among women aged 15-49:
- There is 1 in 5 women who experienced physical violence since age 15
- 6 out of 100 women have reported experiencing sexual violence
- 4% of women experienced physical violence during pregnancy
- 3 out of 10 women sought help to stop the violence
- According to the PNP WCPC 2016 Report, a total of 31,580 cases of violations of RA 9262 were filed before the Philippine National Police from January to December 2016, it goes down to a total of 15,749 cases from January to June 2017
- According to the DILG Report, as of June 2017, out of the out of 42,036 Barangays in the Philippines, 44% or 37,178 have established Barangay VAW Desk.
Visit www.pcw.gov.ph to learn more about the campaign to stop violence against women.