The 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) is observed annually from November 25 to December 12 to raise awareness among all stakeholders that VAW is a public issue of national concern. It supports the Philippine Government’s goal to protect the human rights of women and its commitment to address all forms of VAW. The following issuances provide the national legal mandates for the annual campaign:
· Proclamation 1172 s. 2006 – Declaring 25 November to 12 December as the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW)
· Republic Act 10398 (2013) – Declaring November 25 of Every Year as National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children
In Support of the Worldwide Campaign to End VAW
The 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence begun in 1991, linking November 25 (International Day Against VAW) and December 10 (International Human Rights Day) to emphasize that VAW is a human rights violation. It is further strengthened with the launching in 2008 of the United Nations (UN) Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End VAW Campaign which envisions a world free from all forms of violence against women and girls. For the UN, this vision can only be realized through meaningful actions and ongoing political commitments of national governments, backed by adequate resources.
The Philippine Campaign to End VAW
The Philippine government has participated in this worldwide campaign to eliminate VAW since 2002. Recognizing that human trafficking is a form of VAW, Presidential Proclamation 1172 s. 2006 extended the national campaign to 18 days, to include December 12, a historic date that marked the start of opening for signature in year 2000 of the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, supplementing the UN Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime.
The 2016 18-Day Campaign To End VAW
With the theme “VAW-free community starts with Me”, shifts the campaign to positive advocacy messaging, by giving emphasis on everyone’s commitment and contributions in ending VAW, and our collaborative pursuit of our common vision of a VAW-free community.
Reality Check: VAW in Numbers
• 1 in 5 women experienced physical violence since age 15 (2013 NDH Survey among women aged 15-49)
• 6 in 100 women reported having experienced sexual violence (2013 NDH Survey among women aged 15-49)
• 4% of women experienced physical violence during pregnancy (2013 NDH Survey among women aged 15-49)
• Only 3 of 10 women sought help to stop the violence (2013 NDH Survey among women aged 15-49)
• A total of 30,872 cases of violations of RA 9262 were filed before the Philippine National Police from January to December 2015 (PNP WCPC 2015 Report)
• From January to September 2016, at total of 27,403 incidents of violations of RA 9262 were reported to the PNP, broken down as follows: 18,413 cases of physical abuse; 127 cases of sexual abuse; 6,884 cases of psychological abuse; and 1979 cases of economic abuse (PNP WCPC 2016 Report)
Aiming to “individualize” and make the people “own” the campaign, the PCW personified the “Me” in the 2016 theme and provided each with corresponding core messages:
• From the perspective of a woman - I know my rights and I will not allow anyone to violate it. I won't allow myself to become a victim of violence and I know what to do, where to go and whom to go to in case it happens.
• From the perspective of a man/boy - I respect women and girls and I won't be an instrument in committing violence against women and children. I will be a positive influence to other men and boys in building a community that is respectful of everyone’s right to be free from abuse and violence.
• From the perspective of a government agency - We are staunch advocates of Anti-VAWC. We will continue to provide and improve our services for our clients so that they can live a life that is free from VAW.
• From the perspective of a barangay – Being the smallest unit of government closest to the communities, we are doing our share in attaining our vision of VAWC-free community. Our Barangay VAW Desk is functional and residents of our Barangay are aware of anti-VAW laws.
• From the perspective of private sector and non-government organization- We support the efforts of the government and our immediate community in addressing violence against women and girls. We will continue to foster collaboration in ensuring that there will be zero tolerance to VAW, and initiate efforts within our means to help address the issue when it happens.
• From the academe/training institutions – We foster an environment that does not only nurture the minds and intellects of our students, faculty and staffers, but also ensures their safety from abuses, especially against women and children. We have mechanisms in the campus like a Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) where students, faculty and employees can seek help.
What you can do?
- Empower yourself. Know your rights and available courses of actions in case these rights are violated.
- Speak out and report to the authorities in case your rights are violated.
- Encourage others to fight for their rights.
- Respect women and girls in your home, workplace, and community.
- Join male groups promoting Anti-VAW efforts and participate in discussions to broaden your awareness on the advocacy.
- Enlighten/advise perpetrators to seek help and join the male Anti-VAW supporters.
- Equip yourselves with apt trainings and capacity development sessions to improve service delivery for your clients.
- Develop monitoring and evaluation strategy to assess the service to your clients supporters.
- Let people know that you provide the services! We need to inform the public that there are government offices that they can turn to and trust to assist them towards healing and seeking justice.
Ensure that your Barangay VAW Desk is functional. You can use the Barangay VAW Desk Handbook developed by PCW and DILG with partner agencies to guide you on what to do.
Establish linkages with local and national government agencies, as well as other organizations near your barangay where you can refer victim-survivors of VAW for needed assistance which the barangay is not able to provide.
Promote harmonious family and community relationships in your barangay which is grounded on mutual respect for human rights, and take proactive steps to attain a VAW-free community.
- Support the Anti-VAW efforts of the government and your immediate community.
- Establish your own Action Desks where employees and clients can go to in case VAW happens.
- Develop internal rules to proactively ensure that your workplace is VAW-free.
- Include concepts of VAW and women’s human rights in lesson plans/lesson guides of your teaching staff
- Continually conduct/spearhead anti-VAW advocacies in your campus, and if possible, to your immediate community through extension programs.
- Setup a Committee on Decorum and Investigation (CODI) where students and employees can seek help
How can individuals and organizations get involved in the campaign?
Organize your own event and invite others to join your event. Government agencies, non-government organizations, sectoral groups, private and civic organizations are enjoined to conduct their own activities in line with this year’s campaign theme and focus. You can also invite other groups and individuals to join your event. Hanging of streamer bearing this year’s campaign theme is also encouraged.
Live a Life Free from VAW. A life free from VAW – it’s our right! Freedom from VAW starts with knowing and respecting each person’s rights. You can help end VAW by doing the following
• Never commit VAW
• Never condone VAW
• Never remain silent about VAW
If you are, or you know someone who is a victim of VAW:
• Seek help from sympathetic family members and friends
• Report and seek the help of the barangay, social worker, police, NBI, or public attorney’s office nearest you.
Spread the word. Freedom from VAW is everyone’s concern. Be a firm advocate and partner in ending VAW. Know more about VAW and share the information with everyone. Support efforts within your school, workplace of community to eliminate VAW and achieve our vision of a VAW-free community.
The 18-Day Campaign To End VAW Kick-Off Activity will serve as a venue to launch and re-ignite the commitment of individuals and institutions from various sectors in pursuing Anti-VAW efforts. This event will also serve as an opportunity to share the good practices of government agencies, local government units and other stakeholders on their anti-VAWC programs through discussions and creative engagements. Expected to grace the opening program as Keynote Speaker is Vice President Ma. Leonor “Leni” G. Robredo.
The second part of the program will feature videos and informances by the Philippine Educational Theater Association (PETA), with singer-songwriter Noel Cabangon.
The Orange Your Icon for 18 Days Advocacy Initiative, is a collaboration between the Department of Tourism and its attached agencies, and the Philippine Commission on Women. This initiative aims to raise awareness and consciousness in ending VAW through “oranging” famous and prominent tourism sites or attractions in the country. This creative advocacy effort also hopes to convey a message that the DOT, together with its stakeholders in the tourism industry are partners for achieving a VAW-free community through safe and non-exploitative tourism activities.
Everyone is encouraged to support the initiative by “oranging” their own neighborhood.
DOT-designated Sites for Orange Your Icon For 18 Days
3. Paralegal Training on VAW for CHED Central and Regional GAD Focal Persons to effectively implement RA 7877, RA 9462 and RA 9710 in all HEIs - November 29, 2016 (organized by the Commission on Higher Education)
This one-day training will capacitate the CHED GAD Focals on the legal procedures involved in assisting victims of VAW. The assistance to victims will not be limited to female but will also include male victims. The activity is supported by CHED’s co-convenors: Civil Service Commission, the Philippine Commission on Women, and the University of the Philippines College of Law.
4. Gender Sensitivity for Men/Organizing a Group of Male Advocates of CHED - December 1-2, 2016 (organized by the Commission on Higher Education)
This two-day training is designed to draw out the menfolk to talk about men issues in their relationships, family, career and psycho-social needs. It is also aimed at jumpstarting a group of men GAD advocates within the Commission, cascading down to the State Universities and Colleges, Local Universities and Colleges and the private higher education institutions.