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People’s Alternative Resource Towards New Socio Economic Responses, Inc. (PARTNERS)

Cagayan de Oro City Philippines

Grant Description

In December 2010 UAF received a request from PARTNERS in response to a recent increase in instances of sexual violence against high school-aged women in Cagayan de Oro, Philippines. PARTNERS is a women’s rights organization that provides legal support to women who are survivors of abuse. PARTNERS is currently working with thirty young women who have experienced various forms of sexual assault and harassment in recent months. UAF regional advisors confirmed that this is indeed a growing trend, fueled in part by the rapid development in Cagayan de Oro and the economic vulnerability of many public school students. While many young women and their families are aware of escalating risk of sexual assault, PARTNERS notes that there has not been adequate recognition of and response to this problem by school officials. PARTNERS requested UAF funds for an educational campaign aimed at increasing awareness of sexual abuse against high school-aged women. The project will include a school information campaign directed towards faculty and students at ten public high schools; a parent teacher forum; and production and distribution of informational materials to at risk students. At the conclusion of the campaign, PARTNERS will submit a list of recommendations to the Department of Education and work with the Department to come up with a citywide plan to protect students.

Impact Report

With UAF funds, PARTNERS organized an effective campaign called ""Girls Alert!"" The campaign focused on students in local high schools to increase awareness of their rights. PARTNERS also worked with teachers and parents to develop mitigation plans against sexual abuse. Informational materials were distributed among the high school communities and a website was launched. As a result, girls, parents and teachers are more aware of the effects of sexual abuses and of the hotline that PARTNERS operates. The campaign supported high school girls, informed them of their rights, contributed to helping survivors of abuse seek justice, and has broadened PARTNERS alliances.