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As we continue to battle the wrath of the coronavirus pandemic, another battle that unfortunately soars at home in the new normal is domestic abuse.
During the enhanced community quarantine in the Philippines last year, data has revealed that 804 reported incidents of gender-based violence and violence against women occurred, according to Philippine Commission on Women. Given the scenario of the ongoing lockdown, the Commission of Human Rights backs this up through a statement, saying that those who are victimized are trapped with their abusers; leaving them no option to go elsewhere and “are not able to seek help because they fear being overheard by their abusive partners or are stopped from leaving home.”
In commemorating International Women’s Day, well-known beauty brand Avon Philippines has launched its recent campaign, the #SpeakOut Art Collective—the latest effort in championing women’s rights and causes to not only help women, but also build a better world for them to be in.
With many encouraged to be vocal with their struggles on social media, the “cancel culture” is real and deconstructive towards peers. While this scenario can be quite difficult to separate two and two, Avon Philippines’ General Manager Razvan Diratian stresses how #SpeakOut lies solely on condemning violence and providing a voice to the voiceless, particularly on how they do not need to face their battles alone in the time of increased isolation. The launch of the #SpeakOut Art Collective hopes to “open more doors for people to support the advocacy while we’re still under the limitations of quarantine,” and comes to prove the importance of a good support system.
“Through this effort, everyone can show support even from the comfort of their own homes—may it be through participating in the auction, purchasing our limited-edition fundraising products, or simply by lending a voice about the realities of domestic abuse.” Diratian shares. Merchandise such as limited-edition items from the beauty brand will be available to further support the cause.
Given the stricter lockdown implementations, the virtual #SpeakOut Art Collective was developed by Avon to continue the discussion on domestic abuse and provide support to survivors through the medium of art.
The virtual gallery for the art collective features works made by a roster of 10 all-female artists, sculptors, and photographers: Bea Policarpio, Bree Jonson, Ciane Xavier, Cru Camara, Denise Heredia, Gabby Prado, Mara Fabella, Nicole Concepcion, Tammy De Roca, and Tyang Karel. Among the artists involved, performers Kiana Valenciano and Peaceful Gemini also lent their voices to the cause during the art collective’s Facebook Live launch. Talk about a powerhouse of talented female artists!
All the pieces featured in the art collective are currently exhibited in Avon’s website, Avon.ph and shall be auctioned off until April 2021, Diratian calls on supporters to bid for any of the pieces to support its NGO partners focused on the welfare and causes of women.
The #SpeakOut Art Collective will benefit Avon’s four partner NGOs spread around the country—Luna Legal Resource Center for Women and Children, Gender Watch Against Violence and Exploitation (GWAVE), Women’s Care Center Inc. (WCCI), ING MAKABABAYING AKSYON (IMA) Foundation.
“Courage is contagious. Once a person pushes back against social stigma, it makes it much easier for other people to join and do the same courageous act,” Diratian remarks. “After all, it is easier to stand for something if you know you're standing with other people. This is why we constantly encourage people to #SpeakOut against violence.”
Avon Philippines’ #SpeakOut Art Collective pieces will be available for auction online via Avon.ph until April.
Editor's Note: This article was provided by Avon Philippines.