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Philippine Embassy in Tokyo joins the campaign to end Violence Against Women

Participants of the workshop raised their orange hearts and wore orange masks in celebration of the Campaign to end violence against women.

6 December 2021 — The Philippine Embassy in Tokyo joined the 18-day campaign to end violence against women (VAW) from 25 November to 12 December. The theme for this year’s observance is “VAW-free community starts with Me.”

In partnership with International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the HELP Asian Women’s Shelter, the Embassy conducted a seminar-workshop for its personnel on counseling for domestic violence (DV) cases. Participants gained a better understanding of an effective and holistic approach to counseling.

Ambassador Jose C. Laurel V remarked that “domestic violence is no longer a private issue” and that “the community should be involved to stop the cycle of domestic violence.” “I hope that this training helped our personnel become more equipped to assist our Kababayans,” he further stated.

Asked on the best take-away participants should remember from the workshop, caseworker Ms. Carina Morita of the IOM answered, “A helper’s tool is himself or herself.  Whether we like it or not, issues presented to us by our clients will be seen to a certain degree through a personal lens. It is helpful for helpers to be aware of their own personal lenses, and the things that affect them.”

Volunteers took on roles of different people with different statuses to determine if they are able to access and/or afford certain privileges.

“Particularly for those involved in direct assistance, being our own tools means we vicariously experience the problems and personal issues of our clients. It is important therefore that we set aside time and make an effort to take care of ourselves,” Ms. Morita explained.

As for DV survivors, Ms. Haruko Sakama of the HELP Asian Women’s Shelter said that there is a support system in Japan for DV survivors, including their children. Ms. Sakama also shared this message for both DV survivors and their family and friends: “A DV survivor has the power to change his or her life for the better. We should respect whatever the decision he or she makes.”

During the seminar, to symbolize their care and concern, Embassy participants posed with pictures of hearts in orange, the color of the campaign.