Addressing gender-based violence | Inquirer Opinion
Women who lead

Addressing gender-based violence

/ 05:03 AM November 06, 2021

Nov. 25 has been designated by the United Nations General Assembly as the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women (VAW). Each year on this day, organizations, alliances, and communities around the world hold various activities to create awareness and propose solutions to eliminate violence against women, one of the most widespread and devastating human rights violations in the world.

To go beyond the annual observance of VAW, we ensure that every aspect of our work in SPARK Philippines advocates inclusion and the protection of women’s rights. In order to achieve this, one of our strategies is to work at the community level, to build a nation from the ground up where women are capable of achieving their dreams within a framework that offers empowerment and equal rights for any gender.


One of our biggest undertakings is the Quezon City Protection Center (QCPC), a facility launched in 2011 to serve the needs of victim-survivors of gender-based violence and abuse. It takes a multidisciplinary approach to achieve a holistic response to the needs of victim-survivors and their families.

With the knowledge that surviving and recovering from abuse requires multidisciplinary support, the center provides a safe space and critical care and services for social work intervention as well as medical, legal, safety, psychosocial, and economic aid. Consultations may be booked with dedicated officers and personnel including a lawyer, a social worker, police officers, a psychologist, and an administrative officer.


The center is also QC’s response to various issues such as limited resources in the barangay women’s desk, lack of medical and psychological services at the barangay level, poor coordination among concerned stakeholders, and lack of services for LGBT victim-survivors of abuse.

Strong leadership and the stakeholders’ passion and commitment for the advocacy have enabled the center to grow from a one-room office at the Quezon City General Hospital and Medical Center into a building in the same complex, where counseling sessions and lectures as well as livelihood trainings for clients can now be accommodated.

To date, the QCPC has assisted 1,793 women, children, and LGBTs who are victims of gender-based violence and abuse. Most clients come from the disadvantaged sector. Their ages range from 1 to 65 years old, and they are usually victims of their husband, father, or partners, while some are exploited by their relatives and neighbors.

With the knowledge that the current pandemic situation has exacerbated the conditions of those who are living with their abusers, the QCPC reopened its doors amid the lockdown.

Other components of the gender-protective initiative are the 122 Helpline for victims of domestic violence, and a program that extends financial help to victims. Under Mayor Joy Belmonte’s proactive leadership, Quezon City has become known as a gender-friendly city. It is part of the UN Women’s Safe Cities and Safe Public Spaces initiative.

Initiatives such as this protection center is something that can be shared with and replicated in other local communities as a best practice. We hope to work with more like-minded leaders, organizations, and communities to address the pressing issue of violence against women, because it is now, more than ever, that we need to prioritize addressing this problem as part of COVID-19 response and recovery.



Maica Teves is the executive director of SPARK Philippines, an NGO primarily focused on women’s economic empowerment. Inspired by the global #MeToo movement, #TimesUp movement, and #DontTellMeHowToDress movement, she created the #RespetoNaman campaign to end gender-based violence and empower women to rise up against all forms of gender-based violence.


Women Who Lead is an initiative of the Philippine Women’s Economic Network (PhilWEN)

Read Next
Don't miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

TAGS: quarantine restrictions, Quezon City Protection Center, Spark Philippines, violence against women and children
For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.

Fearless views on the news

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and
acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

© Copyright 1997-2022 | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.