MANILA Quezon City Vice Mayor Joy Belmonte is urging women to speak up against violence, especially victims of any forms of harassment, violence, and abuse.
Speak up. Do not be afraid nor be ashamed to report because the city government is here to provide any kind of assistance to punish the perpetrator and serve justice, Belmonte said in an interview on Wednesday, during the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW), spearheaded by the Philippine Commission on Women (PCW).
The city official has been vocal on her stand to uphold women empowerment and cease violence against women in Quezon City, where she founded various programs for women protection.
One of those is the Quezon City Protection Center (QCPC) that provides free legal, medical, and psychological assistance to victims of gender-based violence. The QCPC has saved almost a thousand women, children, and lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) people since its launch in 2011.
In April this year, Belmonte also pursued the use of the city's Gender and Development (GAD) budget to put up more women and children help desks and protection centers in several barangays, alongside those in the police stations to expand its services in the whole city.
We hope that, through these measures, we can alleviate the cases of violence against women, she added.
At the same time, Belmonte called for respect towards women for their significant role and immeasurable contribution to various aspects of society.
Regardless of gender, women, men, and members of our LGBT community have to be respected. We must also all be made to feel safe in public places, she said.
According to the PCW, one out of four women aged 15-49 has experienced physical, emotional, and sexual violence committed by their husband or partner in 2017.
In a statement, the PCW also called for compassion for women, especially for the victims of gender-based violence, and also for women to take courage and seek help to attain healing and justice. (PNA)
Source: Philippine News Agency