SAN FRANCISCO – As part of its mandate to advance the welfare and well-being of overseas Filipinos in the United States, the Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco partnered with the Alliance for Community Empowerment (ALLICE) for online training on intimate partner violence (IPV) on November 19.
More than 40 participants from the Consulate and other Philippine foreign service posts in the U.S. joined the online training on Zoom, which also coincided with the yearly observance of the 18-Day Campaign To End Violence Against Women.
In his remarks, Philippine Consul General Neil Frank Ferrer said that the online training aims to raise the competency of Philippine foreign service personnel in the U.S., in dealing with domestic violence cases, which disproportionately impacts on overseas Filipino women.
“It is an unfortunate reality that many of those who experience physical, verbal, sexual or psychological abuse from their partners would rather keep silent about their ordeal or stay in an abusive relationship, for fear of further retribution from their partners or judgment from others. They often hold the mistaken belief that staying in such a toxic and unhealthy relationship would keep their families together,” the Consul General lamented.
In line with the theme of this year’s 18-Day Campaign To End Violence Against Women that highlights the Philippine Safe Spaces Act of 2019, ConGen Ferrer said that the online training seeks to turn the Philippine embassy and consulates in the U.S. into “safe spaces for those who have found the courage to end their silence and unshackle themselves from intimate partner violence.”
The Philippine Consul General also thanked ALLICE for collaborating with the Consulate for the webinar, the first-ever training held for the Philippine embassy and consulates in the U.S.
“Following the mantra of the late Alice Peña Bulos, who said: ‘To achieve empowerment, we must reach out and empower the community,’ the Consulate will continue to support ALLICE’s noble mission of keeping Filipino and Filipino American homes free from domestic abuse and violence,” ConGen Ferrer said.
Dr. Jei Africa, ALLICE Clinical Director and Marin County’s Behavioral Health and Recovery Services (BHRS) Director, served as the resource speaker during the online training, where he discussed the many forms and nuances of IPV in the Filipino American setting. He also outlined ways to detect signs that a person is experiencing domestic violence, and the community resources that can help IPV survivors.
Apart from the participation of the entire personnel of the Consulate in San Francisco, representatives from the Philippine Embassy in Washington, D.C., and the Philippine Consulates General in Chicago, Los Angeles and New York also took part in the online training.
ALLICE is a non-profit all-volunteer organization dedicated to promoting healthier relationships, homes, and communities through education. ALLICE has long been a partner of the Consulate in community and women empowerment in the Bay Area through activities such as the annual “Free from Violence” Seminar and Resource Fair, and public forums on IPV.
Those who are experiencing abuse or violence from their partners may avail themselves of the following resources:
- U.S. National Domestic Violence Hotlines: 1-800-799-7233; 1-800-787-3224; 206-518-9361 (for the hearing impaired)
- Community Overcoming Relationship Abuse (CORA): 1-800-200-1080
- San Mateo District Attorney’s Office Victims’ Center: 650-599-7479
- Philippine Consulate General in San Francisco’s Assistance-to-Nationals (ATN) Section: email@example.com
- Alliance for Community Empowerment (ALLICE): http://allicekumares.com.