Real Talk

Sexual Assault Awareness Month: Building Safe Online Spaces Together

With the world interconnected, the challenge is to provide protection for victims of assault and harassment online.

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month in many parts of the world. This year, the National Sexual Violence Resource Center (NSVRC) announced the theme, “Building Safe Online Spaces Together.” This is relevant as threats and harassment continue to be rampant especially against women online.

Toxicity Online

In an overview of the campaign on their website, the NSVRC explained this year’s theme.

“Now more than ever, screens and technology connect us with romantic partners, friends, family, co-workers, and strangers alike. For too long, harassment, cyberbullying, sexual abuse, and exploitation are expected as typical and unavoidable behaviors online,” the group said.

In last year’s theme “We Can Build Safe Online Spaces,” the group called on their audience to practice consent and intervene if necessary to prevent further harm. This year, they hope to bridge and build online communities that provide safe space, inclusion, and good behavior.

“We know that we can build and are building online communities centered on respect, inclusion, and safety. Where harassment, assault, and abuse are taken seriously. Not only do we believe that together we can build a safer online world. But we also believe that these values, skills, and actions will create communities that thrive online and offline,”  the NSVRC said.

Help Centers and Groups to Run to In Need of Assistance

In the Philippines, there are various organizations and online groups that provide protection and awareness for sexual assault and abuse victims. Check out some of the groups you can seek help from.

The Sanggunian: Commission on Anti-Sexual Misconduct and Violence

First is the Sanggunian: Commission on Anti-Sexual Misconduct and Violence. The group provides counseling and legal assistance to victims of sexual harassment. You may reach them via Facebook, Twitter, and their email at [email protected]

PNP Women and Children Protection Center (WCPC)

Up next is the WCPC, which began back in 1993. It underwent several changes and restructuring. Now, they specialize in violent cases of women and children. For more information, you may check out their Facebook page or call their hotline at 0919 777 7377.

Lunas Collective

The third is Lunas Collective. They are a community that provides chat services to survivors of gender-based violence and violence against women. They give advice and counseling with regard to family planning as well. For more information about Lunas Collective, visit their Facebook page.

Maya’s Organization

Last but not least is Maya’s Organization. This organization is located in Davao City. It caters to young abuse victims and women who were raped. Marieta D. Monta or Maya founded the organization after close family members sexually abused her. Additionally, she went through a challenging life when she had conflicts with her late husband’s family due to property conflict. Encouraged by people she met and who gave her support, she established the Maya’s Organization Philippines. It provides a rehabilitation center for kids and women. Check out their website at

Don’t be afraid to speak up and educate people about what’s wrong

Thanks to the #MeToo movement, more women have come out to share their stories of inappropriate behavior. Moreover, women have established communities to share their stories. They have been active in calling law enforcement to implement laws such as the Safe Space Act and Anti Sexual Harassment Law.

But above the implementation, it’s important that parents teach their children the importance of respect and good behavior among themselves. Furthermore, in a country like the Philippines where sexism is rampant, parents should remind children that respect is earned and not demanded. If you’re for women’s rights then practice it and walk the talk—starting with your family.

New PH Law: Age of Sexual Consent Now 16 As Signed by Duterte

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