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Towards a Safer Community for Women and Children

Gresheen Gift Libby | La Révolution

In Negros Oriental alone, the Gender Watch Against Violence and Exploitation (more popularly known as GWAVE) reported almost 60 cases of sexual abuse annually, with its victims mostly women and children. Led by a team of legal advisers and volunteers, GWAVE helps in filing cases against sexual and domestic abusers, so that victims can get the justice they deserve.

By linking with other NGOs and government agencies such as the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), GWAVE combats domestic violence by rescuing the victims from their homes via the chosen linked organization, and then doing the legal paper works.

Most victims of domestic violence and sexual abuse are women and children. From housewives down to a mere infant, cases like these are becoming so widespread that it is no longer a surprise whenever news about abuse victims come up. Battered housewives brush it away, but little do they know that this can lead to death if they don’t call for help.

In an interview we conducted with young Edwin (who prefers to be called Bianca), a nine year old peanut vendor who can be seen wandering during the wee hours of the morning in Esca ño Beach, he described his life at home with his stepfather as harrowing. His stepfather would often beat up his mother in front of him and his six other siblings, and if they didn’t meet their daily quota of 300 pesos from their selling, they would get hurt. The thought of asking for help from GWAVE never crossed his mind, out of fear of their stepfather.

We believe in creating a safer community for women to flourish and for children to grow up in. Domestic violence and sexual harassment is not something that a woman or a child can easily move on from. It does not get easier by time, it creates trauma and fear. The least we can do is to help establish a collective of people looking out for each other.

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