Senator Joel Villanueva has sought increased education and awareness on the various protection mechanisms the country’s laws afford victims of domestic abuse, after hearing the plight of seven women suffering various kinds of maltreatment committed by their partners.
Villanueva took to social media his condemnation of the domestic abuse experienced by the contestants, who bravely recounted the horrors they experienced at the hands of their partners on last Saturday’s “Bawal Judgmental” segment of the long-running noontime show Eat Bulaga.
“Hearing their stories breaks my heart. We don’t want that to happen to our women. We’ll get in touch with Dith, Michelle, Rhyza, Chelle, Len, Heidi, and Jessan. Magpapadala po tayo ng abogado o anumang professional help kung kailangan,” Villanueva wrote.
The wildly-popular segment tackled the issue of domestic abuse featuring seven women who suffered physical, emotional, and psychological abuses from their respective partners, and some of them even from their partner’s families. Some of the women admitted allowing the abuse to happen for years”•two of them explaining they did not want their children to grow in broken families.
As one of the contestants recalled how her mother-in-law fed her child with alcohol, a visibly-shaken Villanueva encouraged viewers to “disengage with their abusers right there and then,” supporting the advice given by clinical psychologist Dawn dela Cruz, who was on deck to help the show process the situations of the women.
“Yung violence against women, may batas po doon. Pwede po tayo humingi ng tulong sa ating barangay, sa ating kapulisan,” Villanueva said on the show
On social media, Villanueva said he supported the bill filed by Senator Nancy Binay who sought to expand the Violence Against Women and Children law to include forms of abuse in electronic forms. Another bill Villanueva pursued is a measure increasing the penalties on child labor violations.
The lawmaker praised the show’s handling of the sensitive topic, saying that his experience guesting at the segment reinforces “the value of television which serves as a conscience of society.”
“Sa pagpunta po natin sa EB’s #BawalJudgmental, lalo po nating nakita ang halaga ng media at telebisyon. Nagsisilbi itong konsensya ng bayan para itama ang mali sa ating lipunan, lalo na po ang mga pang-aabuso sa mga bata at kababaihan,” he wrote.
“Habang nasa #BawalJudgmental tayo, nakita rin po natin ang importansya ng trabaho lalo ang edukasyon. Kailangan po ang sapat na kaalaman sa pagpapamilya at ating mga karapatan para maprotektahan ang ating sarili at mahal sa buhay. Walang puwang ang mga abusado sa ating bayan,” Villanueva continued.
After the show, Villanueva reached out to the contestants and sought to help them get back on their feet.