#I AM BRAVE
Real boys don’t cry.
Real boys play with cars and guns.
Real men drink liquor and smoke cigars.
Real men had early sexual experience.
ARE THESE STATEMENTS REAL?
Generally and factually, in cases of sexual abuse, men/boys are the perpetrators or abusers and women/girls are the victim-survivors. Most of the programs and services of various organizations and network agencies are geared towards the helping intervention on the victim which are mostly women and children. It might be the “missing link”, that the root cause of the problem is not being addressed, which are the abusers. What could be the scenario if these perpetrators or abusers were sensitized on their Dignity? Rights? Gender? Responsibilities? and Purpose in Life?
The Laura Vicuna Foundation Inc. launched its BRAVE program – Boys Reject Abuse, Violence and Exploitation last October 15-16, 2016, where 49 boys coming from our Child Protection Clinic outreach areas gathered for the Gender Sensitivity Training. The Seminar workshop began with the Welcome remarks of Sr. Aleth Evangelista, FMA where she made great emphasis on the DIGNITY of the human person, that we are all created in the image and likeness of God, male and female He created them equally. Mr. Elino Bardillon, Communication Officer of the Council for the Welfare of Children gave a general orientation on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.
Ms. Jean Enriquez, Executive Director of Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATWAP) together with her staff Ms. Clydie Pasia guided the participants to discover their identity as the male gender. They also drew from the boys their perspectives, views and sensitivities on gender issues patriarchy, productive and reproductive work, power, violence in conflict resolution . What is very powerful is the process the speakers facilitated which is very experiential and a lot of paradigm shifting happened among the boys. The speakers based from the participants’ sharing have inculcated in them the important concepts of Gender Equality, their roles and responsibilites as men, the right notion on Women, Sex and Prostitution, non-violent and peaceful dialogue in conflict resolution.
Sr. Ma. Victoria P. Sta Ana, FMA, LVF Managing Director, in her closing remarks congratulated the boys and welcome them as LVF Brave advocates to their peers. She also encouraged them to know God’s beautiful plan for them, accept oneself, value and respect differences and complementarity and to use their free will to be BRAVE all the time and become agents of a culture of peace and protection especially for all especially women and girls.
#I will not abuse girls/ women! I AM BRAVE!
#I will not patronize pornography in the social media! I AM BRAVE!
#I will not allow myself to engage in premarital relationships! I AM BRAVE!
# I will not patronize prostitution! I AM BRAVE!
#I will respect all women and girls! I AM BRAVE!
#I will avoid peers who influence me to violence and abusive talks and behavior! I AM BRAVE!
#I will advocate for the stop of all abuse, violence, and exploitation! I AM BRAVE!
These commitments of the boys clearly show how BRAVE they are!
BRAVE boys are REAL men!