Montes told Bulatlat that most of the victims are hesistant to talk about what happened to them. “Kung maaari ngang magpakamatay na lang di ba? Para matapos lang yan,” (They feel that it is better to commit suicide to end all their sufferings.)
Through GABRIELA’s counseling program, Montes said, most of the women-victims are recovering little by little. She shared that she has a client who is now ready to go back to school after undergoing a traumatic experience of being blackmailed by her boyfriend. Her former boyfriend extorted money not only from her but from her whole family by threatening them that he would send the video recording of their sex act to many people.
Montes said that as far as she knows, there are existing laws that victims could use to protect themselves and run after the perpetrators. But there is still no law dealing specifically with this form of abuse.
Montes added that as of this moment, justice has not yet been served for women victims who filed cases under the five-year-old Anti-Violence Against Women and Children law. Aside from the fact that the law is relatively new, Montes said, the slow grind of the judicial process in the Philippines has been to the disadvantage of women-victims. It usually takes three to four years to litigate a case in the Philippines.
I Vow Versus VAW
Montes said that the Gabriela Women’s Party (GWP) is planning to pass a bill that specifically addresses the use of technology to commit VAW.
In the meantime, GABRIELA, in line with its 25th anniversary, launched its I Vow Versus VAW campaign last March 22 during the birthday celebration of actress Angel Locsin, who has served as their spokesperson against VAW for the past few years.
“It’s a campaign to commit one’s self in the struggle to eradicate violence against women,” Montes said.
Montes said that the I Vow Versus VAW is part of their information awareness campaign targeting communities nationwide. It aims not only to encourage women to report cases of violence committed against them but to also report VAW cases where victims chose to endure their sufferings in silence.(Bulatlat.com)