Philippine Commission on Women
Link to original article: http://pcw.gov.ph/VAWfreePH2017
VAW-free community starts with me
Saturday, November 25, 2017 to Tuesday, December 12, 2017
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 2017 18-Day Campaign To End VAW
In 2016, the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women (IACVAWC) adopted the theme “VAW-free community starts with Me” for the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW). The Council also agreed that the said theme shall be used every year from 2016 to 2021.
The theme shifts the 18-Day Campaign To End VAW to positive advocacy as it enjoins everyone to pursue the common vision of a VAW-free community, and highlights what can be done to achieve such.
Results of the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2013 show that one out of five (20%) of women aged 15 to 49 years has experienced physical violence. The NDHS is conducted every five years. It should be noted that survey results are more indicative of the prevalence of violence in the country, since the administrative data on number of clients served by service providers like the police, social workers, and health workers only capture cases reported to these offices. Considering such prevalence, the 2017 Campaign to End VAW shall focus on Primary Prevention, to reduce incidents of VAW in the country.
The 2017 campaign approach is to make people understand VAW from the point of view of victim-survivors. It is hoped that such deeper understanding would ignite compassion from stakeholders, so that they would not commit, condone, or remain silent about VAW. For service providers, such compassion towards victim-survivors would encourage them to provide better services to their clients.
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 31,580 cases of violations of RA 9262 were filed before the Philippine National Police from January to December 2016 (PNP WCPC 2016 Report)
- A total of 15,749 cases of violations of RA 9262 were filed before the Philippine National Police from January to June 2017 (PNP WCPC 2017 Report)
- As of June 2017, 88.44% or 37,178 out of 42,036 Barangays in the Philippines have established Barangay VAW Desk (DILG Report)
Starts with ME
18 things that we can do to help end VAW
1. Empower yourself. Know your rights and available courses of actions in case these rights are violated.
2. Speak out and report to the authorities in case your rights are violated.
3. Encourage others to fight for their rights.
4. Respect women and girls in your home, workplace, and community.
5. Join male groups promoting Anti-VAW efforts and participate in discussions to broaden your awareness on the advocacy.
6. Enlighten/advise perpetrators to seek help and join the male Anti-VAW supporters.
7. Equip yourselves with apt trainings and capacity development sessions to improve service delivery for your clients.
8. Develop monitoring and evaluation strategy to assess the service to your clients supporters.
9. 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.
10. 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.
11.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.
12. 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.
13. Support the Anti-VAW efforts of the government and your immediate community.
14. Establish your own Action Desks where employees and clients can go to in case VAW happens.
15. Develop internal rules to proactively ensure that your workplace is VAW-free.
16. Include concepts of VAW and women’s human rights in lesson plans/lesson guides of your teaching staff
17. Continually conduct/spearhead anti-VAW advocacies in your campus, and if possible, to your immediate community through extension programs.
18. 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 to end VAW?
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 get in touch with the Regional and Local Inter-Agency Committee Against Trafficking in Persons, VAWC, and Child Pornography (Regional/Local IACATVAWCP) in your area to know how you can participate in regional and local activities. 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.
2017 Campaign Activities
1. 18-Day Campaign to End VAW Kick-off Activity- 24 November 2017, 9 AM; PETA Theatre, Quezon City
The 18-Day Campaign To End VAW Kick-Off Activity will serve as a venue to present the situation of VAW in the Philippines and likewise launch the Strategic Plan of the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and Their Children (IACVAWC).
2. VAW Experiential Museum – 24 November to 26 November 2017; PETA Theatre, Quezon City
The museum is one of the most effective ways to make the public understand the difficult experiences of VAW victim-survivors by making use of their senses (see, hear and feel) and appealing to their emotions. It is hoped that as they walk through the museum, which narrates various forms of VAW in different places, they will develop compassion and concern towards the victim-survivors and later commit to become an instrument in ending VAW.
- November 25, 2017 (1st screening; 10:00 AM-12:00 NN)
- November 25, 2017 (2nd screening; 1:30-3:30 PM)
- November 25, 2017 (3rd screening; 4:00-6:00 PM)
- November 26, 2017 (1st screening; 10:00 AM-12:00 NN)
- November 26, 2017 (2nd screening; 1:30-3:30 PM)
- November 26, 2017 (3rd screening; 4:00-6:00 PM)
Now on its third year in the Philippines, the ORANGE YOUR ICON FOR 18 DAYS ADVOCACY INTITATIVE aims to strengthen the anti-VAW advocacy by enjoining new audiences to join the cause to end VAW. The idea is to attract the public’s curiosity on why major landmarks or icons nationwide are colored orange, thereby providing opportunities for advocates to explain the Anti-VAW advocacy. By participating in this initiative, government offices and private organizations are declaring their support to the anti-VAW advocacy and zero-tolerance for VAW to the public’s attention.
4. VAW: The Unspoken Words
“VAW: The Unspoken Words” is one of the lined-up activities for the 2017 18-Day Campaign To End VAW.
Using free-verse poetry and images, the project aims to make the public understand the difficult experiences of VAW victim-survivors.
Five videos narrating various forms of VAW will be presented which include VAW in the Home, VAW in the Workplace, VAW in the School, VAW in Public Spaces and Online Harassment. It is hoped that these videos will develop compassion and concern towards the victim-survivors.
To download the videos, facilitator’s guide and presentations on VAW, visit
5. Production and Distribution of Advocacy Materials
Agencies and LGUs are requested to produce and distribute their own VAWC-related information materials to their clients and employees. Those who wish to reprint PCW-produced materials may download the electronic copy of the IEC materials through this link https://tinyurl.com/Anti-VAW-IEC.
6. Online advocacy
Official hashtag: #VAWfreePH
Feature 18-Day Campaign to End VAW in agency websites