The Lunas teama hotline in a chat that works on volunteers, recently held an event called #DariousSurvived, an online discussion on gender-based violence in public and online spaces. This online service helps people who have experienced gender-based violence.
Gender-based violence refers to harmful acts that someone has experienced because of their gender identity or sexuality. During the #DearSurvivor speakers spoke extensively about this – what it is, what actions we can take and how we can care for survivors. In this post, I’ll share with you some of the things I learned at the event that might be good to know to help make a safe place for ourselves and for the people around us when we travel – whether it’s during a daily trip or leave.
But first let’s talk about the Safe Places Act!
The Safe Places Act, also known as Republic Law 11313, is a law in the Philippines that provides safeguards and penalties for gender-based violence or harassment. Violation of the Safe Locations Act is a felony and punishable by a fine or imprisonment.
This applies to public places such as streets, restaurants, hotels, shopping malls, public parks, utility vehicles, government offices, workplaces, schools, etc. This also applies to online platforms.
According to discussion participant Lunas and member of the Faculty of Law Ateneo Atty. Patty Hundred. Mary, acts punishable under this law include both verbal and physical acts, such as, but not limited to, the following:
- Misogynistic, transphobic, homophobic and sexist insults
- Relentless requests for personal data
- Unsolicited comments about appearance
- Sexual or lewd proposals
- Obscene gestures
- Unwanted advances
- Any sexual behavior and other sex-based behaviors that affect the dignity of the person are undesirable, unreasonable and offensive to the recipient.
- Creates for the recipient an environment that is intimidating, hostile or humiliating.
This includes communication by electronic means.
If you have witnessed someone being a victim of gender-based violence, there are things you can do as an outside observer. Often people do not take action for several reasons, including what is called the observer effect.
The observer effect is when you do nothing because no one is doing anything or you assume that someone is already doing something about it. Other reasons may be cultural, thinking it’s just that, or thinking why make it your problem if you’re not worried. Or there may be a thought that help still won’t help.
During the #DearSurvivor session, discussion participant and physiotherapist Barb Nawa discussed 5Ds observer interventionas compiled by ihollaback.org, a global movement that rules people to stop all forms of persecution. Read this and remember when you witness gender-based violence in public.
- Distract. You can do this by starting a conversation with the target or find another way to distract him. Some things you can do is ask for directions or time.
- Straight. Before you do this, make sure you evaluate your safety first. You can call or comment on the harassment and be firm in it. Then talk to the person being persecuted.
- Delegate. You can find help from someone else, especially from one of the authorities. For example, if you ride a bus, you can pay attention to the conductor or driver. You can then check on the person being persecuted and ask if he wants to call the police.
- Delay. Once the incident is over, check on the person being harassed. Ask them out well if they are no longer absorbed in the connection.
- Document. Again, before doing this, make sure you are safe and try to do the first 4D to help the victim. If you have done so and the persecution has not stopped, record a video or audio of what is happening. It will be very helpful if the victim decides to report the incident to the police. When you do this, remember a few things:
– Keep a safe distance.
– Remove street signs and / or other landmarks to help locate.
– Say the date and time on the record.
When the incident is over, ask the target person what he wants to do with the frame. Never post this online without their permission.
Make sure everything you do is aimed at supporting them. And when the victim is ready, urge to reach out and report the incident. Here are some ways to report gender-based violence:
- Aleng Police (PNP)
PNP Child Protection Center Hotline: 177 / 8532-6690
Aleng Pulis Hotline: 09197777377
- Tisza Gustisya (Free Legal Aid)
Globe / TM: 09533826936
Smart / TNT / Sun: 09510774412
During the panel discussion, road safety advocate Arlette Villanueva also shared safety tips while traveling, especially if you are alone.
- Know your location. Get to know the place you are visiting. Know your routes and plan your stops. It is also important to know how to navigate the area in which you will be staying.
- Use the app to share your location with family and friends. You can use many apps that will let your family and friends know your location, even if you are away from them. Use this so that someone always knows where you are.
- Bring the whistle. If you are traveling alone, take a whistle and always keep it with you. You can use this to get attention or call for help if something bad happens.
- Don’t be afraid to talk when you feel uncomfortable. Your safety is paramount, so don’t be afraid to say if something is wrong with you.
For more information on LUNAS COLLECTIVE on their Facebook page!