There is now a local government-run shelter in Quezon City where survivors of abusive actions can find refuge.
The local government has inaugurated Bahay Kanlungan to give temporary shelter to those who have experienced gender-based abuse and violence. The facility has 60 beds and comes with an activity area, a reading hub, a playing room and learning area for kids, and a livelihood training center. It is open for women and members of LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) community.
During a celebration to highlight the city’s 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW), Mayor Joy Belmonte, in her speech, said the building of the shelter will strengthen the city’s efforts to protect its constituents from abusive actions. The activity was held as Belmonte recognized an about 35 percent increase in the number of related incidents during the lockdown.
According to Belmonte, survivors not only of physical but also of emotional, economic, and financial abuse are welcome to the shelter.
“Nagbibigay ang ating protection center ng iba’t ibang tulong para sa kanila, tulad ng medical assistance, legal assistance, at counseling. Ngunit saan natin sila dadalhin kung nararamdaman nilang hindi sila ligtas sa kanilang mga tahanan? Iyan ang pinakalayunin ng Bahay Kanlungan (Our protection center gives our constituents various kinds of assistance, such as medical, legal, and counseling. But where will we bring those who don’t feel safe at home? That’s the purpose of building our Bahay Kanlungan),” she said.
“Dahil nabawasan sila ng mga pagkakataong kumita ngayong may pandemic, at napilitan manatili sa bahay, tinitiis na lang nila ang pananakit na ginagawa ng kanilang partner (Since many are now staying at home, victims are left without choice but to endure the abusive actions of their partners),” she acknowledged.
Survivors may reach out to the city’s helpline 122 for assistance. Its operators are trained to handle and process concerns of violence against women and their children victims, the local government gave assurance.
Private and government partners such as SPARK! Philippines and the Philippine Commission on Women have pledged to support the city’s initiative by providing livelihood for women in the shelter, the local government said.