PCW Statement on the 2015 National Consciousness Day to End Violence Against Women

The 2013 National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) report says that one out of five women aged 15-49 suffered from physical violence in the Philippines. Six percent of them experienced sexual violence. Four percent reported violence even during pregnancy. Yet, only 30% sought assistance to stop the violence.

The police, health professionals, social workers, and prosecutors, however, continue to handle an increasing number of cases of violence against women showing that more women are getting the courage to break their silence. About 80% of all barangays have Violence Against Women (VAW) desks; around 2,493 police stations have women and children protections desks (WCPDs) nationwide; 73 hospitals have women and children protection units (WCPUs); and abused women and children can find refuge at 25 shelters run by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and 13 by local government units (LGUs).

As we commemorate the National Consciousness Day to End Violence Against Women today, we recognize the duty-bearers and advocates, who have conscientiously paved the way to develop, strengthen and implement policies and programs in curbing cases of gender-based violence in the country.

Now is a time for us to pause and appreciate what we have accomplished thus far, particularly our efforts in eradicating the underlying structures of patriarchy and gender inequalities that block the realization of women’s human rights.

While this observance allows us to celebrate the gains of our hard work, a lot remains to be done in enlightening more women to know their rights, seek help and report abuses. More men need to be organized to oppose violence and respect women and girls. Mutli-sectoral response systems need to be strengthened at the local levels.

Let us re-ignite our passion by remembering our vision – a Filipino community where women and girls are free from violence and discrimination. Let us renew our commitment to do our share in reaching that vision.

Now is the time for us to unite – government, civil society organizations, academe, media and the private sector- working together towards reaching the common vision of a VAW-free society. Ending violence is everyone’s duty! Let us raise our strong hands to end the cycle of violence and put violence against women and girls to a full stop!