By: Margaret Anjelie P. Llorico
There are lots of women in the world who are suffering. Some have skins that are treated like a blank canvas—colored in paints of purple and blue bruises. Some cry themselves to sleep and some have been suffering for years. What should be done to women in these situations? They must be empowered!
Empower, that is what the University of San Agustin (USA) College of Law Alumni Batch 2018 did for this Women’s Month Celebration. They empowered women.
[Empower] is an information drive to raise awareness on Anti-Violence Against Women and their Children (Anti-VAWC) law conducted by the USA College of Law Alumni Batch 2018. This advocacy is in partnership with the USA College of Law, Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), Commission on Human Rights (CHR), Public Attorney Office (PAO), Integrated Bar of the Philippines (IBP), Philippine National Police (PNP), USA Tilipunan, USA Law Portia Club, G-Nano, Virginia Foods Corporation and with the untiring support of the USA College of Law Dean, Dean Jose Mari Benjamin Francisco U. Tirol, USA Law professors, students and alumni, to put an end to VAWC which remains to be a prevalent case in the society.
The information-drive activities aimed to promote awareness on the anti-VAWC law, the reporting procedure of VAW cases, and to inform the public of the help and assistance available for the victims and their families.
A woman is an artwork. This was shown during the art exhibit called Babaye Bulahan Ka! Held at the USA Herrera Hall lobby on March 8 to 16. The exhibit showcased the collection of paintings, sketches, and photographs with the subject to empower women. The colors displayed in the showcase all conveyed the message of strengthening a woman. The same titled photo exhibit and trade fair in was also held in The Shops at Atria on March 12 to 14. Participants were the USA Law Portia Club, Himbon Contemporary Art Group, Hilway Inday Dolls, PAO, CHR, Virginia Food Corporation, Xilium, DSWD Region VI under its Sustainable Livelihood Program (SLP) and Champion Farmers from Lambunao, Iloilo which showcased their agricultural products. The trade fair aimed to showcase that women play vital role in the economic sector.
A woman can play sports too. On March 10, GIRL POWER: A Football Fest for a Cause was held. Senior high school and college girls battled it out in the football field. With much intensity and focus on the game, the USA College of Commerce Football team championed the game.
A woman helps a fellow woman through information. Paghiliugyon! A Legal Forum on R.A. 9262 was held at Dolse Garcia Conference Room of USA last March 16, 2019. The speakers of the forum, Atty. Elijo Herrera-Bellones of the USA College of Law, Mrs. Haydee Canilla of the DSWD, and SPO3 Ruth Laudato of the PNP gave awareness about the anti-VAWC law and how to go to the process when a person is a victim. A free legal counselling was also offered by the new member lawyers of the IBP.
It went beyond USA. The team traveled to Dingle, Iloilo to share the same information and provide the same legal services with speakers from the PAO and the CHR. Through this activity, awareness was promoted and women who experienced violence were given the encouragement to report what they’ve experienced and to fight for themselves.
A woman is there for other women who experience pain. On March 23, an Outreach Activity at the DSWD Home for Girls was held as the culminating activity. Compassion, joy, love, and service was felt all throughout the event as girls who were victims of abuse received support from the empowering group of USA College of Law. Materials for the activity corner including bookshelves, books, art materials and board games were given. Games were played by the USA Law Batch 2018 “manangs” with their “little sisters” from the Home for Girls. An Art Therapy was also conducted by Marvin Monfort of Himbon Contemporary Artists Group to teach the girls how to express themselves through art.
Led by the organizers, USA College of Law Alumni Batch 2018, the outreach became a heartfelt finale to the advocacy-filled event. It was “fun with a cause”.
The whole month of March for the USA College of Law indeed revolved around women empowerment and was a powerful call to help end violence against women and their children. /PN