Dangoyngoy sa Kahilum 3

(Third of a Series of Lectures and Workshops on Violence against Women and Children)

Zonta Club of Cebu II organized the third episode of its continuing series of advocacy fora entitled “Dangoyngoy sa Kahilum on Saturday, March 16, 2013 at the Marcelo B. Fernan Press Center Theater.

The “Dangoyngoy sa Kahilum” series of seminars, workshops, lectures and other such enabling activities was conceived to involve the participation of key and focal personnel, front liners and first responders who are charged with recognizing initial signs of abuse.

The third activity was held in March 2013 to mark March as International Women’s Month. Zonta Club of Cebu II, as lead convenor, organized a multi sectoral advocacy forum with members from other women’s groups like Quota Club, Soroptimist International, Rotary International, etc and discussed relevant, pertinent legislation pertaining to women and their rights. We were privileged to have Atty. Ray Paolo J. Santiago who gave a comprehensive overview of existing Philippine legislation to End Violence against Women and Children. This was followed by a more in-depth presentation of Republic Act 9262 or the ANTI-VIOLENCE AGAINST WOMEN AND THEIR CHILDREN ACT OF 2004 by Atty. Joan Saniel-Amit, Executive Director of the Children’s Legal Bureau, Inc.

Eliminating violence against women remains one of the most serious challenges of our time. Lack of awareness, poor reporting mechanisms, lack of faith in investigative and disciplinary systems and a dearth in services to victims have all impacted on government organizations as well as NGO’s and their partner agencies’ ability to prevent and respond effectively to sexual exploitation and abuse.

All of us have an obligation to protect women from violence, to hold perpetrators accountable and to provide avenues of redress, justice and remedies to victims. Compounding the abuse is the culture of silence around domestic violence. This silence becomes part of the violence, reinforces its harm and adds to the isolation. Zonta Club of Cebu II reiterates its commitment to end the silence and stand united against domestic violence

The first activity of the series was held in November 2011 and involved GAD Focal personnel, Barangay health workers and women’s desk personnel. The second series of lectures, with guidance counselors and librarians as members of the audience, dealt with three of the more pertinent issues that children face today, “Tell-tale Signs of Drug Use and Abuse and What To Do About It”, with Chester Dagus as resource speaker, “Dealing with Bullying by foremost psychiatrist Dr. Pureza Onate and Recognizing and Breaking the Cycle of Child Abuse with Dr. Ma. Consuelo Malaga sharing her experiences as coordinator of the Women and Children Friendly Center in Cebu.