THERE’S no doubt about it, but the world is a lot better because of women’s nurturing hands. It's not saying that mankind could not have survived with women, rather, that one cannot be complete without the other. And I should say, vice versa.

Of course not all men would readily agree, believing that they can always live and survive the toughest situation without women, (perhaps, tongue in cheek). But women could always claim that in some situation, they could do as well without men at all, especially when relationships between the two sexes become unhealthy and stressful.

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But I admired a lot of women who stood their ground, even when undergoing so much pressure psychologically, physically and emotionally. These particular women could be at their best in their careers or simply doing a full-time job at being a housewife to her husband, a doting mother to her children and at the same time care-giving to her own elderly parents or parents-in-law or their other relatives.

Scenarios

And what are these particular pressures? There is only one trying and really tough situation that any woman can get into, and that is being trapped in a relationship that is far from engaging or healthy. As I watched women friends and relatives and even those whom I never really knew close enough get entangled in such kind of relationships, I always thought the playing field is certainly broad. Women, no matter if she is a successful career woman or simply a wife and mother, or the one who wait upon her husband and children, undergo such kind of situation at certain point of her life.

The most daunting scenario that such women get themselves embroiled into is one that which is now popularly known as Violence Against Women (VAW). A study made by a colleague in our Masters degree in Humanities major in Women Studies states that “Violence against Women (VAW) usually occurs within marriage and intimate relationships. The impact of domestic violence in the sphere of total violence against women is clearly stressed with statistics that shows 40-70% of murders of women are committed by their husbands or boyfriends (World Health Organization, 2002).”

This however doesn’t mean that victims of VAW are only those within the bounds of marriage or romantic relationships for that matter. It is a sad fact that there are more and more young female victims of VAW than government care about documenting.

Nowadays though, I have known many women come out of such dire situations triumphantly, not necessarily because there had been laws enacted purportedly to protect women’s rights, but rather because the women themselves stood up and put up a real good fight to protect themselves. I have always admired these kinds of women, and there are aplenty around if we only care to look close enough.

This column is dedicated to the stories of women and all about women and their interesting situations, wherever they are and whatever they do. There are many good stories untold which other women from all walks of life could use to make their lives better.

(Gingging Valle, an NGO worker who through the years has been submitting feature articles to Sun.Star Davao now comes on board as a columnist. Expect her articles with focus on women issues every Saturday. -- The editors)