When faced with sexual violence or harassment, coming forward is easier said than done. Multiple factors such as victim-blaming, having to go through an arduous and emotionally-taxing process, and a rotten system are just some things that hinder victims from believing their experiences are worth fighting for. More often than not, all that ends up happening is they get bullied into silence and predators walk free.
But in the advent of the #MeToo movement, where more and more women are telling their story and banding together to create a sacred space, rapists no longer sit unscathed at their ivory towers. In the local setting, victims have had their wins too. Just last year, the Anti-Catcalling Ordinance was put into motion, a step towards safer streets for everyone.
Most recently, women’s group Gabriela launched Gabbie, a chatbot you can report your sexual harassment cases to. The process is simple: All you need to do is send her a message on Facebook, where she’ll ask details for her to input on their Harassment Form. It even helps you narrow down your case to workplace harassment, street harassment, online harassment, or lascivious acts committed by strangers, friends or family members. Once everything is set, you can then send it over to a lawyer, an LGU, or the HR Department so they can help accordingly.
While Gabbie has officially been online since last year, it looks like they’ve doubled up on their brand visibility, with posters placed around the city, especially where every day forms of sexual harassment are prevalent. Below, a sign is seen stationed at the LRT Vito Cruz station. With these efforts and technology in place, hopefully more victims (men and women) will be more aware that they do stand a fighting chance against their predators.
Want to know how else you can help? Besides spreading awareness, keep yourself in check.
Images from Gabbie by Gabriela