Violence against women
Zonta International has a very relevant advocacy focusing on the crusade against Violence against Women (VAW). Our club, Zonta Club of Cebu I, has undertaken several long- and short-term projects in tandem with the academe, government and civic agencies: The Zonta Club of Cebu I VAW Referral Center, located in the University of the Visayas; Related symposia and livelihood projects in Budlaan, Cebu; Youth and family-oriented programs and services.
There are so many cases of domestic violence which need attention. One difficulty in pursuing these further is the reluctance of some women to seek help.
Don’t look far. There are so many women suffering in silence. I never realized how our women, working mothers specifically, like my household helpers, have to work hard as breadwinners while their jobless husbands gamble, drink and beat them.
My ‘Helper A’ was abandoned by her husband. She became a zealous mother to a son, a drug addict, who would get all her income and beat her when he needed more. She died after a head surgery.
“Helper B” has a live-in partner who beats her if he gets tired or drunk. But she doesn’t mind these because she needs his companionship. Being beaten became part of her system. She got so used to his beating that she said it does not hurt her anymore.
I told my fellow Zontians that domestic violence is real and rampant. I myself realized that VAW is threatening women, especially those in the lowly, underprivileged class. I see how man’s brutality at home affects the children.
The Zontians get immersed in VAW, but they take the situation positively, by giving seminars and livelihood projects to augment the women’s self-sufficiency and self-respect.
The cases of my household helpers are detestable; A realistic “eye-opener.” I can’t help but wonder why and how some women allow domestic abuse. I have time and again asked my helpers. They just say, “I can’t do anything about it, Madam. It’s my luck with the draw. I’ll just live with it.”
The Zontians are on the right track of alleviating domestic abuses through advocating against VAW. It is not an easy task, but it’s worth the try.
The advocacy to help women to be self–sufficient, to uplift their self-respect and desist from violence at home is noteworthy. The Zontians are not alone in this project because they have the support from the legal institutions to protect women’s rights, the academe for relevant seminars as well as psychological and emotional guidance, and some government agencies.