May 7, 2020

Recognizing that domestic violence cases are on the rise in the midst of a COVID-19 crisis, not just in the Philippines but worldwide–DivinaLaw organized an online public service forum “Closer to Home: Domestic Violence During COVID Lockdown and Beyond.”

The forum featured an esteemed panel of speakers consisting of Hon. Elisa Sarmiento-Flores, acting presiding Judge – Branch 69 – Taguig; Assistant Secretary Joyce Niwane – Department of Social Welfare and Development, PCol. Lailene Amparo, CIDG Women and Children Complaints Unit chief, as well as DivinaLaw Senior Partner Estrella Elamparo, and DivinaLaw HR Director Atty. Renelie Mayuga.

Atty. Mayuga discussed the signs of abusive behavior, the cycle of violence, and some statistics on domestic abuse; while Atty. Elamparo shared the salient points of Republic Act 9262 or the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004.

Speaking to the over 150 attendees, DSWD Asec. Niwane exhorted the people to become truly caring neighbors. “Ito po ay problema ng bayan, hindi lang ng isang pamilya. Ang susunod na henerasyon ang nakataya dito.”

Judge Sarmiento-Flores also advised women to not just rely on their hearts when considering whether they should stay in an abusive relationship. “We are made equal with men. Dapat i-consider at alagaan din natin ang ating mga sarili.”