Media, showbiz personalities support #SpeakUp

News Release
27 November 2012

Media, showbiz personalities support #SpeakUp campaign

To help give a voice to women who are silent victims of domestic abuse, Sen. Pia S. Cayetano has launched #SpeakUp, an 18-day social media awareness campaign on violence against women.

Several celebrities from media and show business and fellow netizens have joined the campaign, which runs from November 25 to December 12, through popular social media tools like Twitter and Facebook.

As of Monday, journalists Ces Drilon (@cesdrilon), Maria Ressa (@mariaressa), and Gel Santos Relos (@gelsantosrelos) were among those who have shown support by tweeting their thoughts using the hashtag #SpeakUp.

Showbiz celebrities also supported the campaign through Twitter, including Anne Curtis Smith (@annecurtissmith), Bianca Gonzales (@iamsuperbianca), Jim Paredes (@jimparedes), Maja Salvador (@dprincessmaja), Jodi Sta Maria (@JodiStaMaria), Lizz Uy (@lizzuy), Cesca Litton (@CheckLit), and Erwan Heussaff (@erwanjheussaff).

“People are shocked to discover that, in this day and age, many women still experience violence in their own homes and some suffer in the hands of their loved ones,” said Cayetano, Chairperson of the Senate Committee on Youth, Women and Family Relations. “Unfortunately, the reality is that many women, here in the Philippines and around the world suffer violence or abuse based primarily on their gender.”

“We chose social media, which is perhaps the fastest and most effective medium to reach out to various social classes and age groups, including popular personalities who have a big influence on the youth,” she explained.

She noted that violence committed against women takes various forms. “Violence is not confined to physical abuse; it can also take the form of emotional, verbal, psychological, economic, and sexual abuse.”

Citing data from the National Statistics Office (NSO), she said 1 in 5 Filipino women aged 15-49 has experienced physical violence since age 15, while 1 in 7 married women has experienced physical violence by their husband.

Using her Twitter account @piacayetano, website and Facebook fan page, Cayetano launched the online campaign on Sunday, Nov.25, to coincide with the International Day to Eliminate Violence Against Women. Within hours from its launch, Filipino netizens on Twitter promoted the campaign’s hashtag #SpeakUp to share their sentiments on the issue.

Cayetano said that anyone on the internet may join the campaign by changing one’s display photo using a #SpeakUp sign that could be downloaded from the senator’s website. Netizens may also upload a picture putting up one’s hand as if to say “stop!”

“We must act together and break the culture of silence on Violence Against Women. A vital step in eliminating this social ill is to raise awareness among the public. We need to build an informed citizenry that will not allow violence against women to perpetuate in our society. We need people to speak up, because to defend women’s rights is to stand up for our human rights.” #

Photo: Sen Pia Cayetano explains #SpeakUp to members of the media at Tuesday’s Bulong Pulungan forum held in Pasay City. With her in the panel are moderator Deedee Siytangco and Dr. Tony Leachon, who gave updates on the Sin Tax bill.

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