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Tuesday, 05 December 2023 06:47

1 in 5 Filipino women experience sexual violence; anti-VAWC efforts intensified

One in five Filipino women have experienced sexual violence; this is why this forum is important so that we can bring awareness to this issue and tackle it,    Atty. Ivy Pantaleon said during the Anti-Rape Law Forum on December 1, 2023, at the Philippine Science High School - Central Mindanao Campus (PSHS-CMC) gymnasium.

    “That statistic is in the Philippines alone; the World Health Organization (WHO) stated that in 2022, 30%, almost one in three women worldwide, have experienced some form of intimate partner violence,” Pantaleon said. 

The forum was in line with the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women and Children and aimed to educate the CMC grade 9 scholars, faculty, staff, and General Services Unit (GSU) personnel on RA 8353 or an act expanding the definition of the crime of rape and reclassifying the same as a crime against persons.

Pantaleon introduced several revisions to the Anti-Rape Law that accommodated charges from persons who were not the victims of the sexual violence such as the families of the victims.

“Before, the crime of rape was considered a crime against chastity.  In 1997, it became a crime against persons.  It was reclassified and now, anyone can file a case of rape instead of just the victim.  Before, victims were ashamed and did not speak up, but with this reclassification, anyone, like the family of the victim, can now be acknowledged in such a situation.”

She concluded her message by providing guidance on the steps that victims of sexual assault should take in the aftermath of the event.

“It’s not expected na mudiretso ka sa pulis, unfortunately,” the speaker said.  “You need to seek counsel from persons whom you can trust - parents, teachers, and  such.”

She said if the victim experiences prejudice from those around them, they should find a temporary shelter where they can process the situation, and then contact authorities when they are ready to do so.

“Keep the evidence safe and intact, because usually, rape happens behind closed doors, so witness testimonies are very rare,” she said.  “The reality is that the authorities are sometimes very difficult to work with if you can’t convince them, so you really need that evidence.”

The 18-day anti-VAWC program, held from November 25 to December 12, is in line with Presidential Proclamation No. 1172, series of 2006, signed by former President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo, aimed at addressing all forms of violence against women and protecting their rights.

 

 

Written by Luke Tuyan, Grade 9 Potassium / ALA Journalism
Edited by Ben Mika’il Adiong, Grade 9 Rubidium / ALA Journalism

 

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