by Anna Liza Villas-Alavaren
An association looking after abused women and children’s welfare has reported that cases of violence against women are still on the rise in the country, and called on the present administration to take a committed stand on the problem like the one it has made on its war against illegal drugs.
“Every 53 minutes, one girl is raped… we have more cases reported because people are voicing out,” said Laurence Ligier, founder of Chameleon Association, a non-government organization with the goal of protecting and rehabilitating sexually abused girls in the Western Visayas region.
This year, Zonta Club of Makati Ayala (ZCMA) chose Cameleon as the beneficiary of its “No to Violence Against Women” campaign.
Based on her observation, Ligier said more women are encouraged to report cases of violence against them as the subject is becoming less taboo.
The numbers are increasing. Despite the prevention campaign and all that, the cases have not lessened yet, said Ligier, citing that top cases include rape, incest and acts of lasciviousness.
Ligier said she finds the laws protecting women in the country “strict” but not many women are aware of them and implementation is weak.
If the government will take a stand against child abuse and violence against women just as they are doing against illegal drugs, then it will make a difference, said Ligier.
One of its activities to create awareness incorporates Filipinos’ love for food for the “16 Days of Activism” campaign. Rita Dy, ZCMA president, said they have tapped various hotels and restaurants in over 30 locations all over the country for the event.
Dy said partners have created special orange color “No to VAW” dishes, drinks and desserts for the public to enjoy. These gastronomic offers will be available for 16 days, from Nov. 25 to Dec. 10. Proceeds will be donated to Cameleon Association.
“The issue is still very much a real problem, and it requires all of us to take notice and make a stand,” said Dy, after a ceremonial signing of a memorandum of agreement among the partners.
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence is a global campaign dedicated to ending gender-based violence. It begins on Nov. 25 and ends on Dec. 10, Human Rights Day.
The campaign was created in 1991, during the first Women’s Global Leadership Institute coordinated by the Center for Women’s Leadership.