Press ReleaseContact: Chel Cendana, Pinay sa Seattle ###

Seattle Vows to Fight Violence Against Women

SEATTLE, WA – Pinay sa Seattle in collaboration with Tadaima, a radical Japanese American organization and Khmer in Action (KIA), a progressive group of Khmer people, have come together for a night of collective action to take a stand against violence in our communities particularly against women and children.  The Filipino Community of Seattle and its Kultura Arts program is sponsoring an event on Friday, February 19th called “IVOW…I vow to fight violence against women,” a show calling for an end to violence against women in our API community. 

In the US, violence against women and children is further perpetuated in times of economic crisis and war.  Violence is prevalent particularly in communities of color, immigrant households, and families that are struggling to make ends meet.   For women of the third world, and in particular the Philippines, the challenge with violence is far greater in a place where feudal and patriarchal values still take precedence in addition to grappling with the everyday challenges of poverty and war.

To address these issues, Pinay sa Seattle, a member organization of GABRIELA USA, is launching a nationwide campaign to fight violence against women called Voices of Women vs Violence Against Women or iVOW.  The campaign is an ongoing educational campaign calling for individuals to take a vow to end violence, and that begins with addressing the root causes, discussing the systemic effects these root causes have on women, and vowing to take a stand to fight violence with resistance against oppression.  The iVOW campaign is a comprehensive campaign that addresses issues such as human trafficking, domestic violence, rape, incest, sexual harassment, prostitution, sexual abuse, sexual discrimination and exploitation, militarization, political repression, and connecting these issues with violence due to economics. 

Currently the Philippines is under heightened political repression due to the coming elections in May, where violence against its own people is rampant.  On February 6th, 43 community health workers, 26 of whom were women, were raided, abducted and tortured by the Philippine military during a training seminar in Morong Rizal (neighboring province of Manila) held by the Council for Health Development (CHD).  Donna Denina of Pinay sa Seattle states “It’s a sure sign of desperation by the Philippine government to steep to such levels because they know that these health workers are in full support of members of the progressive party list groups.  It’s election season, so it’s no surprise that these human rights violations are happening, but it doesn’t give the government the right to commit these acts of crime without being accountable to the people.” 

To learn more about the iVOW campaign, community members are encouraged to attend this free show on Friday February 19th.  Doors open at 6:30pm and show starts at 7:00pm.  There is a sliding scale donation of $5-$10 if you’d like to contribute to the ongoing campaign to end violence against women, but no one will be turned away for lack of funds.  For more information, contact