Most of the time, because we don't go around expecting or anticipating to be catcalled, slut-shamed, or sexually harassed, we're often stumped or at a loss for words when we find ourselves in such situations. It all happens too fast and by the time the anger, fear, or disbelief subsides the slightest bit, either you don't know who to talk to or how.
Enter Ateneo Women's Desk (AVOW), an Anti-Violence Against Women initiative that aims to create a safe space for Ateneans who experienced harassment and other forms of violence against women. Here, they can report any harassment cases that involve at least one constituent of Ateneo, whether it's a student, professor, employee, etc.
"This initiative is made by Clara Cayosa, a senior Information Design student as her senior thesis design project (the senior thesis of an Information Design major is a design solution to a social problem)."
"Harassment knows no boundaries of social class, geography, or culture. Ateneo is no exception. The lack of avenue for victims to voice out their experiences within an institution like Ateneo is a problem that has not been solved."
"A memo was posted by the Sanggunian (the student government) last semester calling for possible actions to address harassment and VAW issues from the student body after the harassment incident of Thomasian students went viral online. Clara contacted Sanggunian and eventually partnered up with them. Now they are in the process of establishing the desk."
Avow is currently on its testing period and still in talks with the school administration regarding the steps to be taken after a case has been filed.
If you want to report an incident that you or a friend has experienced, you can fill out the form here or visit the testing at MVP 200, Sanggunian Room between today and March 31.