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CHR condemns sexual violence in viral party photo

/ 05:04 PM June 03, 2015

The Commission on Human Rights (CHR) on Tuesday condemned the photo of a woman being surrounded and sexually harassed by several men in what appeared to be a party that had been making the rounds on social media.

In a statement on Tuesday, CHR defended the victim from social media users who had been blaming and criticizing her, saying “due care and sensitivity” should be observed in dealing with the issue so as not to inflict further harm on the victim.

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“While the commission, through its regional office, is still in the process of verifying and investigating the context of the video/photo, the commission condemns the acts of sexual violence that have been captured and the manner by which the same has been tolerated and acquiesced by those present,” the statement read.

CHR likewise condemned the posting and sharing of the viral photo.

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“As it is the victim-survivor, already subjected to physical and sexual abuse, is now the subject of continued and prolonged violence through attacks on her person through social media sites,” the commission said.

Quoting a position paper of the International Women’s Rights Action Watch-Asia Pacific, CHR added: “Posts, comments and arguments that blame the woman for the sexual violence she has experienced reveal a misogynist thinking that opts to blame the victim for the violence she has been subjected to. Victim blaming not only trivializes and normalizes violence against women, it encourages rape culture and adversely affects women’s access to justice.”

Some netizens had said the party took place in Bacolod, while others said it happened in Marikina City.

Facebook users also shared a Feb. 17 post of Pilipinas Underground, a “council governing all productions over Metro Manila,” which said the picture was taken in Marikina on Valentine’s Day.

“This photo was taken from the Dynamic Pulse Party of Playmate Nation Production held in Marikina last Feb. 14, 2015,” it said. “The Playmate Nation Production who produced the Dynamic Pulse event is not registered under Pilipinas Underground.”

Citing the Magna Carta for Women and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women, CHR said the public and the government had the duty to uphold the dignity of women, maintaining that rape as a violation of human rights could never be justified.

“Such acts of violence can never be justified by a woman’s alleged drunkenness, her behavior, the places she frequents, and her manner of dress. Violence is violence, sexual abuse is sexual abuse. Rape is rape,” the statement read. RC

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TOPICS: CHR, Commission on Human Rights, rape, women’s rights
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