The 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW) is observed annually from November 25 to December 12 to raise awareness among all stakeholders that VAW is a public issue of national concern. It supports the Philippine Government’s goal to protect the human rights of women and its commitment to address all forms of VAW. The following issuances provide the national legal mandates for the annual campaign:
- Proclamation 1172 s. 2006 – Declaring 25 November to 12 December as the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW)
- Republic Act 10398 (2013) – Declaring November 25 of Every Year as National Consciousness Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Children
The 2017 18-Day Campaign To End VAW
In 2016, the Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women (IACVAWC) adopted the theme “VAW-free community starts with Me” for the 18-Day Campaign to End Violence Against Women (VAW). The Council also agreed that the said theme shall be used every year from 2016 to 2021.
The theme shifts the 18-Day Campaign To End VAW to positive advocacy as it enjoins everyone to pursue the common vision of a VAW-free community, and highlights what can be done to achieve such.
Results of the National Demographic and Health Survey (NDHS) conducted by the Philippine Statistics Authority (PSA) in 2013 show that one out of five (20%) of women aged 15 to 49 years has experienced physical violence. The NDHS is conducted every five years. It should be noted that survey results are more indicative of the prevalence of violence in the country, since the administrative data on number of clients served by service providers like the police, social workers, and health workers only capture cases reported to these offices. Considering such prevalence, the 2017 Campaign to End VAW shall focus on Primary Prevention, to reduce incidents of VAW in the country.
The 2017 campaign approach is to make people understand VAW from the point of view of victim-survivors. It is hoped that such deeper understanding would ignite compassion from stakeholders, so that they would not commit, condone, or remain silent about VAW. For service providers, such compassion towards victim-survivors would encourage them to provide better services to their clients.