VAW survivors encouraged to speak up and join ‘Raise Your Voice’ campaign

Published December 2, 2022, 4:37 PM

by Charie Mae F. Abarca

Break the silence. Put an end to violence.

Filipino women who consider themselves victim-survivors of violence against women (VAW) were encouraged by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW) to “break their silence” and join the agency’s #RaiseYourVoice campaign.

The campaign was launched in hopes of breaking misconceptions about VAW.

“VAW normally goes unreported due to stigma, shame, and fear. With this campaign, we will break the misconceptions that VAW is a private matter and that it should be dealt with in secret. Misconceptions such as this will only contribute to the victims’ unwillingness to report the crime,” said PCW on Friday, Dec. 2.

“Only by raising our voices together will we be able to put an end to violence being a taboo topic and ensure an equitable future for women free of violence,” it added.

(Photo courtesy of PCW)

PCW, on Nov. 25 launched this year’s 18-day Campaign to End VAW. During the event’s kick-off ceremony, the commission presented data from the Philippine National Police (PNP), revealing that over 12,000 cases of VAW were reported in 2021. In the first half of 2022, on the other hand, VAW cases in the Philippines already hit 5,339.

Behind these numbers, many cases of VAW remain unreported in the country due to the so-called culture of silence.

Joining #RaiseYourVoice Campaign

PCW’s Raise Your Voice campaign seeks to destigmatize VAW, prevent victim-blaming, and encourage help-seeking behavior.

“Through this, they can shed light on intimate partner violence, sexual violence, sexual harassment, trafficking in persons, and other forms,” said PCW.

VAW victim-survivors who are interested in participating may share their experiences in relation to VAW to serve as an “eye-opener” to individuals who are still “turning a blind eye” over the persistent problem.

In joining the campaign, participants were reminded by PCW to “observe sensitivity and adequate discretion to details that can be shared.” They were likewise told to talk “bravely and briefly” about what they went through. Words of encouragement to fellow survivors may also be included in the video.

After recording themselves while narrating their VAW stories, participants may post the said file on social media with the official hashtag: #RaiseYourVoice as the caption.

Women, regardless of age, who consider themselves victims of VAW may join the said campaign. It will be open until Dec. 12, 2022, marking the last day of this year’s 18-day Campaign to End VAW.