UP webinar to talk about domestic abuse during COVID-19

| Written by Deina Blancaflor

Trigger warning: mentions of violence, abuse

The University of the Philippines (UP), in partnership with the UP Manila NIH National Telehealth Center and in cooperation with UP Philippine General Hospital (UP PGH), would like you to join the fight against COVID-19.

“Wear your masks, practice proper hygiene, and only go out when necessary.” These have been the health protocols and guidelines we have been following ever since the start of the pandemic. Especially in the early stages where vaccines were not available yet, people limited themselves from going out, hence the multiple quarantines and lockdowns across the globe. However, along with this deadly virus emerged a so-called “shadow pandemic,” or the alarming rise in domestic violence and abuse against women and children.

“In the case of COVID-19, isolation, restricted movement, and stay-at-home measures to contain the spread of the infection have a particularly acute impact on women. The chances of women and their children being exposed to violence dramatically increased. Family members spend more time in close contact, and household stress intensifies. The risk grows even greater when families also have to cope with potential economic or job losses,” the World Health Organization (WHO) recognizes.

This particular episode of the Stop COVID Deaths webinar series will discuss this very problem. Titled “Stay Safe, Stay Home Daw: Domestic Violence and Abuse during the COVID-19 Pandemic,” the webinar will focus on how we, as frontliners, can help address this pressing issue. The webinar will be from 12 pm to 2 pm on Friday, November 26.

Dr. Bernadette Madrid, a multi-awarded pediatrician who initiated the Child Protection Unit at UP PGH and the thought leader in child abuse as a public health problem in the Philippines, will present data, contexts, challenges, and long-term effects child abuse against the backdrop of COVID-19.

You will also hear from Dr. Vanessa-Maria F. Torres-Ticzon, training officer of the Division of Adolescent Medicine at PGH, who will discuss abuse and teenage pregnancy among girls ages 10 to 14. Dr. Lyra Ruth Chua, past president of the Philippine Obstetrical and Gynecological Society and head of the Task Force on Gender-based Violence, will present the importance of a multidisciplinary team and training conducted throughout the country through women and children’s protection units around the country. Atty. Katrina Legarda, a renowned lawyer for women’s rights, will discuss the legal dimensions of this growing problem.

UP PGH Deputy Director for Health Operations Dr. Stella Marie L. Jose will deliver the synthesis and closing remarks.

Please register for the webinar here and catch our weekly live tweets and streams via the UP System Twitter Account and TVUP’s YouTube and Facebook pages. Join us in spreading the word about this shadow pandemic, and together, let’s all stop COVID deaths.

The “Stop COVID Deaths” webinar series is the Philippines’ first and only frontline-focused medical webinar series. It pioneered the discussion, dissemination, and adoption of knowledge on COVID-19 treatment and management. Follow our accounts to stay connected with your credible online community.