Saturday, 6 July 2013

Through a Mother's Eye: The reality of Domestic Violence in Many Homes

     In my work, I have journeyed along with  a number of women and their families who have experienced domestic 
violence. I remember one particular case wherein  the mother  was beaten repeatedly, threatened further bodily harm and shot with an improvised hand gun. She filed for a barangay protection order against her husband only to be kicked out of their home together with her two young children. Her mother-in-law owned the house where they lived.

   I  was also able to visit and console  the parents of a young woman in her early 20's who died from the beatings she received from her common law partner. She was a dutiful daughter who was able to finish a college degree despite their poverty. She was not economically dependent on her partner who chose to live in her home. She left behind her small child who was the only witness to the tragic event.  

    Nalungkot ako para sa anak niya. 

  What could have made her stay in a life of despair? What factors could have made her to choose an abuser as a life partner?  What could have been done by  her family and her community  to prevent such tragedy? 

  There are a number of films and videos on the web  depicting the struggle of women suffering physical, emotional and sexual violence in the hands of their intimate partners. One such poignant film is " Night and Fog", which was written by King Wei Chung,  produced and directed by Ann Hui which illustrates how a system that aims to prevent the break-up of  families could fail to save the lives of people caught up in a life of domestic abuse. 

  The mother's story in the film represents the stories of many women struggling  to leave a life of domestic violence and rebuild their lives once more with their loved ones. 

   One very helpful video on domestic violence and the learnings of survivors is the Ted talk of Lelie Morgan Steiner , "Why domestic violence victims don't leave." I highly recommend her talk.


  These are the contact numbers of government institutions people may call to refer cases involving violence against women and children:

1.Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD)
 Batasan Pambansa Complex Q.C. (02) 931-8101 to 07

2.DSWD-NCR Ugnayan Pag-asa Crisis Intervention Center 
Legarda, Manila (02) 734-8639, 734-8654, 734-6727 to 27

3.PNP Camp Crame, Q.C, 723-401-20

4.PNP Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC) 
Camp Crame, Q.C, 410-3213

5.Aleng Pulis Text Hotline (0919)-7777377

6. Human Trafficking Action Line 1343

7. NBI Violence against Women and Children Desk 
(02) 5238231


Women's Crisis Center (counseling and advocacy)
Helplines: (632) 926-7744 or 922-5235
Telefax: (632) 925-7133 or 436-5088
E-mail: wccmanila@...
3/F ER-Trauma Annex
East Avenue Medical Center
East Avenue, Diliman Quezon City
Philippines 1102

Women's Desk, PGH
Tel (632) 5548400 loc. 2536


Women's Legal Bureau
Room 505, UP College of Social works and Community Development
UP Diliman, QC
Tel. (02) 9214389

Department of Justice Public Attorney's Office (DOJ PAO)
Tel. (02) 929-9436 loc. 106 and 107

Please see the links below to know more about Philippine laws instituted to protect women and children from violence.


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