Speaking out and speaking your mind these days can get you red tagged, abused, violated, which is such a sad state in the country.
They can either be women, children, the elderly or part of the LGBTQ community, but they all experience supposed violence in one form or another. The problem is, most of these incidents come unreported or never gets surfaced more so during the pandemic. The psycho social, economic and mental state attribute to its worsening, but is should never be a reason or excuse ro why it should happen.
This afternoon, I got to join a press conference hosted by the one and onlyMs. Karen Davila about “FamiLIGTAS” which is a campaign against Gender-Based Violence spearheaded by RTI International, USAID Philippines and supported by government and NGO’s, as to also learn more about the situation in the country.
Ms. Michelle Lang Alli the Director of US AID Philippines says “Your support against Gender violence requires more. It has affected 2.5 Million people nationwide including women, children, the elderly and LGBTQ sector. The pandemic has affected us all, but there is no excuse for gender based violence. We need to make available our programs for equality, to reduce GBV and its harmful effects socially and the marginalized. Recent surveys 2 in 5 women never sought help from violence, and the PNP has recorded 19.5 incidents per day in the Philippines. By forming new and enriching existing partnerships, we can help change policies, raise the volume with GBV so they can have better options now, to keep our homes and community safe, thank you!”
Lolito Tacardon of POPCOM says “This is an important campaign and it currently, homes are places for perpetrators for violence, in imbalance for the basis of gender, it affects the victim, the children, even in this pandemic. The good news is we can break that, take it out of our culture, save people from oppressive violence. We have a joint statement to support vigilance and protect families from any forms of violence. We harness our website, to encourage our followers about GBV. We recognize the raise in pregnancies of minors, to move institutions and have access to facilities of care. Our strongest weapon is our belief that we can break this cycle of violence, we will provide the platform for every Filipino woman and child, Popcom will support to further empower families.”
Dr. Carolyn of UP adds “We commit to explain and carry out this campaign effectively. You can call on us anytime, even if we are bashed right now.”
Dana Aduna from Luna’s Collective says “Quarantine data shows Violence against Women and Children have gone down, but this doesn’t mean it is happening. It has been difficult to report crimes since everyone is in isolation. Gender inequality exists, between intimate partners, and inequalities can be related to social class, religion, women can be oppressed, some interlocking forms of violence. Seeking help, it shows 34% do not seek help or talk to anyone at all. Luna’s Collective wants to be involved to make people talk about psychosocial support, legal, health services and is volunteer powered. Our core belief is that everyone should be comfortable about our bodies, make the community informed and live fully. We understand that gender and power relations should not dictate class and importance in society. We are at our homes with a huge amount of time and if is in a violent setup, we have women come to us, not just first timers, even repeat instances. We remind them it is not their fault, but again this is not an excuse for violence. Similar with men, women or children, even LGBTQ experience it. We need to build a support system in order to stop this.“
Patrizia Garcia adds “GBV happens and so does its effects on mental health. This cause is very close to my heart, we can encourage them to help, our communities.”
Our share of the burden is to support victims of violence, help them get the help they need, and give them access so they won’t experience this at all. Even at these times, there should not be any instance where GBV Is justified. The state also has a role to protect these rights, which is the right thing to do. Economic, Physical, Psychological, all Gender Based violence should have no place in a progressive society.
To know more about the cause or if you need help, visit their Facebook page at Familigtas PH as everything is there.