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The unsafe sex

WOMEN are men’s equals, but not when it comes to being killed, attacked, abused, and victimized. Women are many times more likely to be victims of violence inflicted by the other sex, and that includes their fathers, husbands, boyfriends, lovers, relatives, and acquaintances. In contrast, men lose their lives to strangers, partners in business or crime.

Not the same for women. It could be said that they are born vulnerable, as baby girls. As they grow up, the world becomes a more and more dangerous place. “Modern” crimes like white slavery and drug trafficking prey on girls and women, whereas the oldest profession, though no longer exclusively female in orientation, has sprouted wings as a transnational crime.

Yuri Fedotov, executive director of the UN Office on Drugs and Crime, wrote on International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women: “Across the world, tens of thousands of women and girls are being loved to death. . . A woman’s most dangerous antagonist is not the serial killer or the criminal opportunist, or the random murderer, but her intimate partner or another family member.”

Another family member. Where young girls are the predator’s victims, the crime is incest committed by the father or brother, or rape by the stepfather. A partnership of Zonta Club of Makati with 10 partner-hotels and 14 restaurants was recently forged to donate proceeds from dishes, drinks, and desserts served in those establishments to Cameleon Association, an NGO committed to rehabilitate victims of incest 5-18 years old.

Cameleon was founded by Laurence Ligier, who came face to face with the specter of sexual violence against girls during a visit in 1992. Several visits and five years later, she left France to stay and build Cameleon in Iloilo.

The statistics are cold, the facts cruel. In the Philippines, children make up 77 percent of rape survivors, and rape occurs at the rate of two every 60 seconds. In mid-2015, rape cases surged 64 percent to 8,288, double the incidence in 2010. Appalling. (Jullie Y. Daza)