A Safe Space Online for Women Survivors of Abuse | Sagip Babae Foundation

11:14 AM

Have you experienced anything that has affected your mental health negatively?

Having been through difficult times myself for the past months, I came to realize after attending this wonderful event, that going through traumatic experiences which need healing is an absolutely human and normal thing. And fortunately, professional help is becoming more accessible nowadays, creating Safe Spaces Online for Women Survivors of Abuse. Sagip Babae is here for women who are invisible—who hold up their heads but don't speak out, this is the beginning of touching women's lives and providing the #SAFESPACE we deserve.

Sharing with you these four acts of violence that can seriously affect women's mental health. Not until mental health is entirely destigmatized here in Philippines, women might be left with no choice but to carry the burden alone. 

◾ Physical Violence - acts that include bodily or physical harm like hitting, kicking, or any other physical force.

◾ Sexual Violence – acts which are sexual in nature committed against a woman. It encompasses term that refers to crimes like sexual assault, rape, and sexual abuse

◾ Psychological Violence – acts or omissions causing or likely to cause mental or emotional suffering of the victim which includes threatening conduct which lacks physical violence or verbal elements

◾ Economic Abuse – acts that make or attempt to make a woman financially dependent upon her abuser. It involves the control of money and finances, as well as the things that money can buy.

Pero dahil nandito ang Sagip Babae Foundation, you don't have to deal with everything by yourself. They're here to support and help you overcome the trauma so you can live your life as you like it. 

Sagip Babae Foundation is a newly created organization dedicated to offering safe spaces for women who have suffered from—and survived—domestic violence, sexual harassment, and abuse in its myriad forms. Because such experiences can have severe short- or long-term effects on victims’ mental health, Sagip Babae will stress on granting aid and relief for these women in the aftermath of their ordeal. 

The foundation officially launches its operations on July 29 at Bondi&Bourke in Makati. The occasion will mark the start of Sagip Babae Foundation’s online Facebook community for women survivors of abuse, giving them access to various activities and resources that may prove beneficial in their journey towards healing and recovery.

The foundation’s launch couldn’t have come at a better time. The overall socioeconomic effects of the pandemic have created situations that render women more vulnerable to abuse. A recent study by the Commission of Population and Development (POPCOM) found that 25 percent of surveyed Filipino adults consider violence against women one of the more citical issues during the current health crisis. 

The deleterious effects of abuse likewise resonate with Sagip Babae founders Francesca Fugen and Melissa Rina Profeta’s own life experiences. They cite their personal trauma, as well as those of women they have helped, as their inspiration for starting Sagip Babae. Fugen and Profeta hope to provide—from the get-go—comforting assistance to women victims, aged 18 and above, from all over the country.

Sagip Babae Foundation’s Facebook community will hold webinars and bi-monthly group sessions, and offer self-care strategies, wellbeing education, as well as more information on meditation and holistic healing. It will seek the best possible path of recovery and healing for beneficiaries by carefully matching them to the appropriate partner experts and practitioners. The foundation will shoulder all expenses for therapy and medication within their first month of participation, as well as half of the costs in the second and third months. 

The foundation will have a dedicated counselor for the initial session with beneficiaries. Core team members, along with volunteers for the foundation, have undergone mental health first responder and psychological support training to ensure that each beneficiary receives competent treatment during their time with the foundation.

Sagip Babae commits to providing mental healthcare through its partnership with experts in the field such as Mr. AJ Sunglao, a licensed psychologist and mental health advocate, and Ms. Charlene R. Lucas, a registered psychologist and international clinical traumatologist. For a more extensive approach, Sagip Babae has also consulted with Third Eye Wellness, a provider of holistic healing services, and Ms. Jenny Umali, a life coach and Reiki practitioner. 

To show their support for Sagip Babae’s cause, a slew of mental health professionals, officials from relevant government agencies and organizations, and influencers attended the launch. These include Ms. Carmen Reyes Zubiaga, an advocate for gender equality and chairperson at Angat Persons with Disabilities United 2030; Ms. Angel Dei, a social media content creator and women’s advocate; Ms. Cassie Uyoco, an influencer who advocates for destigmatizing mental health; Ms. Joyce Pring, a TV presenter and podcaster; and Cheris Faustino, a social media content creator and mental health advocate.

Sagip Babae hopes to forge lasting partnerships with these attendees moving forward in order to better serve their future beneficiaries. The foundation will endeavor to reach out to these women and offer them vital resources for safeguarding their mental health in the days ahead. 

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