NOVEMBER 25 was the start of the 18-day campaign to end violence against women (VAWC). This started in 2006 when the Philippine government participated in this campaign that begun in 1991. The 18 days of activism against gender-based violence links the International Day against VAW (November 25) and International Human Rights Day (December 10) and includes December 12 or the advocacy against trafficking.
The 2017 NDHS show that out of the 11,558 ever-married Filipino women aged 15 to 49 surveyed, one in 4 or 26% has experienced physical, sexual, or emotional violence committed by their husband or partner. According to the PCW, “these survey results are more indicative of the prevalence of violence in the country, since the administrative data on number of clients served by service providers like the police, social workers, and health workers only capture cases reported to these offices.”
“VAW-free community starts with Me” is this year’s theme and the government hopes to give the public a glimpse of the VAWC-survivor’s ordeal in hopes of affecting compassion aside from further increasing awareness and knowledge about the various laws protecting women and children.
Spearheading the campaign is the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) who has also identified 18 things each one can do to help end VAWC as follows:
1. Empower yourself. Know your rights and available courses of actions if rights are violated.
2. Speak out and report to the authorities when violated.
3. Encourage others to fight for their rights.
4. Respect women and girls everywhere
5. Promote and participate in Anti-VAW efforts and discussions
6. Advise perpetrators to seek help
7. Equip yourselves with capacity development sessions to improve service delivery
8. Develop monitoring and evaluation strategy to assess your service
9. Inform the public that there are government offices that they can turn to and trust to assist them towards healing and seeking justice.
10. Ensure that your Barangay VAW Desk is functional
11. Establish linkages with local and national government agencies where you can refer victim-survivors of VAW for needed assistance
12. Promote harmonious family and community relationships in your barangay grounded on mutual respect for human rights and take proactive steps to attain a VAW-free community.
13. Support the Anti-VAW efforts of the government and your immediate community.
14. Establish your own Action Desks where employees and clients can go to in case VAW happens.
15. Develop internal rules to proactively ensure that your workplace is VAW-free.
16. Include concepts of VAW and women’s human rights in lesson plans
17. Continually conduct anti-VAW advocacies in your campus, and your immediate community through extension programs.
18. Setup a Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) where students and employees can seek help.