THE responsibility to end violence against women (VAW) does not only lie with the government but also with everyone in the community, starting with the “family.”
Senator Loren Legarda raised the importance of everyone’s involvement to create a VAW-free society.
“We can only stop VAW through our collective efforts,” she said in the observance of the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (VAW) and the 18-day campaign to end VAW that started last Nov. 25 and will end on Dec. 12.
“We all have significant women in our lives -- mother, wife, sister, daughter, or even a close friend,” said Legarda.
“We all have to support this cause if only to ensure that the women in our lives would not be helpless, discriminated, or abused and would have the strength to fight for their rights,” she added.
According to the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW), one in five women experienced physical violence since age 15; six in 100 women reported having experienced sexual violence; four percent of women experienced physical violence during pregnancy; but only three of 10 women sought help to stop the violence.
Legarda underscored the need to strengthen public awareness and campaigns on women’s rights in order to prevent and combat all forms of gender-based violence.
“Many victims of abuses choose not to report these incidents due to lack of awareness about their legal rights. We have diligently toiled to enact pieces of legislation to protect the rights of women and promote their welfare,”she said.
“The greater challenge is to effectively implement these laws and educate women on their rights. Women around the country should be aware that they are sufficiently protected under various laws,” she said.
The 18-day campaign to end violence against women for 2016 carries the theme “VAW-free Community Starts With Me.”