If you or anyone you know is a victim of abuse, here are five organizations in the country that are specifically helping women and children and fighting against violence. Trigger warning: Mentions rape and sexual abuse.
CURE Foundation Philippines
CURE Foundation helps girls who have been abused through online sexual exploitation which includes trafficking and pornography. From the foundation’s database, 77% of the victims they have rescued were exploited by their own family. Girls become their family’s way out of poverty, even if this means that their safety, privacy, bodies, and mental health are sacrificed.
Aside from their outreach programs, CURE Foundation’s Rancho ni Cristo provides a shelter where girls can heal from the trauma brought about by the abuse. “Through our community outreach programs and residential aftercare program, we have been able to provide and promote access to health, nutrition, and education to thousands of people. It’s also our desire to continue to protect children against any kind of sexual abuse.”
Ways to help: You can donate to CURE Foundation or sponsor a survivor via PayPal, wire transfer, and mailing a check. More details can be found at https://www.curefoundationphilippines.org/donate.
Address: C.U.R.E. Foundation, Pacific Square Building, Unit A-2S, F. Cabahug Street, Cebu City, Cebu
Contact Number: (032)272-5998
Maya’s Organisation Philippines
Mayeth “Maya” Monta founded Maya’s Organisation Philippines with the aim to offer support to victims of abuse, prevent child sexual exploitation, and help rape victims and children survivors in the Philippines. Maya herself is a survivor of abuse, which is what inspired her to start the foundation.
Maya ran away from home at the age of 13 after experiencing sexual abuse in the hands of her own uncle. Being a victim of rape, she understands the trauma that other victims go through and deal with for the rest of their lives. Through her foundation, she aims to “raise awareness of the child sexual abuse occuring [in] the Philippines with the hope of preventing future abuse, and to give survivors and victims of abuse hope.”
Ways to help: You can donate to Maya’s Organisation Philippines through bank transfer. More details can be found at https://www.mayasorganisationphilippines.org/how-to-donate.
Address: Door 2, 2nd Floor, Cio Building, Sampaguita Street, Mintal, Davao City, Davao del Sur
Contact Number: (63)947016637 / (82)321-4720
Coalition Against Trafficking in Women - Asia Pacific (CATW-AP)
The Coalition Against Trafficking in Women (CATW) is “an international network of feminist grups, organizations, and individuals fighting the sexual exploitation of women globally.” The Executive Director for the Asia-Pacific region is Jean Enriquez, a Filipina.
The goal of CATW is to bring “international attention to trafficking women and girls, prostitution, pornography, sex tourism, and bride selling, mainly through campaigns and policy advocacy.” They have several programs to achieve their goals including education, training, and organizational development; survivor empowerment; and research, documentation, and publications.
Ways to help: To learn how to help the Coalition in their fight against trafficking in women, you can contact them through www.catw-ap.org.ph/contact.html or send the Asia-Pacific arm an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Department of Health Women and Children Protection Unit (DOH-WCPU)
In abusive situations, women and children are more vulnerable and are at a higher risk of being victimized than men. Samira Gutoc, peace and women’s rights advocate, mentioned in our feature interview that violence is a public health concern given the high number of women and children who experience abuse in the country. Therefore, the government must provide adequate protection and support to victims.
Through the Administrative Order 1-B that was enacted in 1997, the Department of Health (DOH) established Women and Children Protection Units (WCPUs) in all of their hospitals “to provide a gender-fair and violence-free community where women and their children are empowered.” DOH-WCPUs aim to prevent violence and injury and give mental health support to victim-survivors.
This program is in partnership with several local and international organizations including the Philippine Commission of Women, the Department of Social Welfare and Development, the Department of Justice, the National Bureau of Investigation, SAVE the Children, the World Health Organization, and UNICEF.
Contact Number: (02)651-7800 loc. 1726 or 1729 (Weekdays, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM)
CARE is an international organization that aims to “save lives, defeat poverty, and achieve social justice” around the globe. Their focus is on women and girls because they believe that “we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities.”
While CARE Philippines doesn’t specifically target violence against women and children, they do offer programs that empower women so that they can escape abusive situations and make themselves less vulnerable. Their programs include emergency responses to humanitarian crisis, emergencies, and natural disasters; economic development work in vulnerable communities; and integrated risk management including risk reduction, climate change adaptation, and ecosystems restoration and management.
In terms of women empowerment, CARE says: “In the world’s poorest communities, girls and women bear the brunt of poverty. Fighting poverty in those communities requires focusing on girls and women to achieve equality. When families struggle to grow enough food to eat, or earn enough money to send all their kids to school, it’s the girls who are often the last to eat and first to be kept home from school. In these same communities, it’s the women who are frequently denied the right to own the land they’ve farmed their entire lives. And where girls and women are denied freedom to leave their homes or walk down a street, they struggle to earn a living, attend school or even visit a doctor.
“But girls and women aren’t just the faces of the poverty; they’re also the key to overcoming it. CARE’s nearly seven decades of experience makes clear that when you empower a girl or a woman, she becomes a catalyst for positive change whose success benefits everyone around her.”
Address: Unit 512 Cedar Executive Building II, Timog Avenue corner Scout Tobias Street, Quezon City
Contact Number: (02)351-6458 or (02)304-7200