SENIOR Police Officer 1 Mary Chris Abacahin-Camacho is a battered wife.
As she starts to consider her own welfare and safety, the 40-year-old policewoman decides to leave her husband and singlehandedly raises their two sons.
After defying and surviving the domestic abuses, Mary Chris never looks back.
“My personal experience pushed me to assert my right as a woman of worth and that only then abuse and violence in the homes will end,” says Mary Chris, using her painful experience as a platform for her women's rights advocacy when she represents Tacloban City during the Mrs. Philippines Asia 2019 in Manila.
Standing five feet and five inches tall, this feisty yet tender mother and police officer becomes the first married woman of the Philippine National Police (PNP) to join a national beauty pageant -- and wins it.
Having won the title of Mrs. Philippines Asia-Pacific Cosmopolitan 2019 on February 3, Mary Chris now serves as an inspiration to other women to rise above the various abuses in the society.
“Battered wives should never be afraid,” says Mary Chris, who earned an education degree before graduating from the PNP’s Class Panangga of 2005.
“We have Republic Act 9262 or Anti-Violence against Women and Children to fight abusive partners. We should pursue this,” she adds.
Despite being separated from her husband, Mary Chris finds the courage to pursue her role as a parent and police officer in her own way.
Her eldest son finished Information Technology, while the other is soon to finish his degree in Hotel and Restaurant Management.
Mary Chris, who hails from Pagadian City, says women should be aware of their rights.
“We need to inform and disseminate to the people about this law, promoting the welfare of women from all walks of life,” she adds.
Formerly assigned as PNP-Crame-based liaison officer for four years, Mary Chris is currently assigned at the Logistics Division of the Police Regional Office, Camp Ruperto Kangleon in Palo, Leyte.
Police Regional Director Dionardo Carlos says that the men and women in the regional police force “are one with the world in celebrating the International Women's Month and International Women's Day.”
“In this modern age, we respect and support every woman's rights, aspirations, and battles toward gender equality, empowerment, decision-making and nation-building,” adds the police director.
Women law enforcers in Eastern Visayas are only 1,420 of the over 9,000 police force, but for Mary Chris, she believes that women are capable to fulfill what they want to achieve in life, may it be in the workplace or at home.
“Women are the epitome of change. They are the special species created by God as equal of man in all aspects, partners in all worthy endeavors,” says Carlos, also lauding Mary Chris on how she successfully defies the odds, particularly in time of this year’s Women’s Month celebration.