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Women helping women: Artists come together for victims as domestic abuse rises during pandemic
Proceeds raised from the auction will be donated to partner organizations that rescue and support victims of domestic violence.
Avon Philippines/Released

Women helping women: Artists come together for victims as domestic abuse rises during pandemic

Kathleen A. Llemit (Philstar.com) - March 18, 2021 - 9:46pm

MANILA, Philippines — With women's issues and safety on spotlight these days, especially with news on assault on women overseas as part of a surge of hate crimes and domestic violence cases experiencing an uptick during a lockdown, it is important more than ever to speak out against these issues.

The return of a stricter lockdown in several key cities in the country does not bode well as studies and survey shows.

According to World Health Organization, "Levels of domestic violence increase globally as COVID-19 pandemic escalates."

A recent National Demographic Health Survey record showed that one in four women has experienced abuse by their partner. Data from the Philippine National Police Women & Children Protection Center said that at least one woman or child is abused every 10 minutes in the country.

"Our 2020 State of the World’s Girls Report reveals that more than half of girls and young women across the world have experienced online harassment. With COVID-19 changing our lives permanently and driving digital and technology uptake, girls and young women have become more at risk online and their rights are being further threatened," said Ana Maria Locsin, Country Director for Plan International Philippines, an independent development and humanitarian organization that advances children’s rights and equality for girls.

Avon, the direct-selling company that has been espousing women's causes, stages another year of its Speak Out campaign. After last year's inaugural edition, the campaign returns to hold its first art collective, with a live auction happening tomorrow, March 19, at 6 p.m. on Avon Philippines' Facebook page.

The art collective features the works of visual artists Denise Heredia, Nicole Concepcion, Ciane Xavier, Gabby Prado, Cru Camara, Tyang Karyel, Mara Fabella, Tammy De Roca, Bea Policarpio and Bree Jonson.
These women created 14 artworks composed of paintings and sculptures, among others, that center on the themes of "femininity and women empowerment."

Performers Kiana Valenciano and Peaceful Gemini will also be lending their music during the live auction.

Proceeds raised from the auction will be donated to partner organizations that rescue and support victims of domestic violence. These are non-government organizations (NGOs) spread out across the country. They include Luna Legal Resource Center for Women and Children in Davao, Gender Watch Against Violence and Exploitation in Dumaguete, Ing Makababaying Aksyon Foundation in Angeles, Pampanga, and Women's Care Center, Inc. in Manila.  

The direct-selling company hopes to raise P1 million for the cause, which will be used to fund the call lines and frontline rescue workers of said NGOs. Last year, the company's Foundation for Women donated US$1 million to organizations that provide rescue and rehabilitation services to women and children at risk. In the Philippines, almost P5 million was donated to the partner organizations.

Apart from buying the artworks, the public may also donate during the show on Friday by scanning the QR code flashed on screen or buying the company's limited-edition Speak Out fundraising products: the #SpeakOut Lipstick, the Evita watch, the Love yourself jewelry set and the women's empowerment umbrella.

"We definitely want to raise awareness (to the cause). We want as many people around the country to be aware about this issue and then to encourage them to speak out within their families, communities and on social media. We also want to generate funds because there are many women who need specific help," said Razvan Diratian, the company's General Manager.

RELATED: Help stop the 'silent pandemic': Philippine hotlines to call for domestic violence victims during lockdown

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