Quezon City officially opens crisis center for LGBTsBy Jeannette I. Andrade
Philippine Daily Inquirer
Quezon City now has a one-stop crisis center for lesbians, gays, bisexuals and transgenders (LGBTs) who fall victim to abuse and discrimination with Mayor Herbert Bautista’s signing of the ordinance for its establishment.
More than two months after the city council passed the measure creating a crisis center for LGBTs, Bautista approved last month the law that transformed the women’s and children’s crisis center at Quezon City General Hospital into the “Quezon City protection center for victim-survivors of gender-based violence and abuse.”
The creation of the one-stop crisis center for LGBTs was pushed by Vice Mayor Josefina Belmonte, who was responsible for the creation in 2011 of the city government-subsidized crisis center for women and children, also at the hospital.
Belmonte and several councilors noted that women were not the only victims of gender-based abuse. Most of the time, LGBTs are discriminated against and in need of help and protection.
Under the ordinance, victims of gender-based violence need special safeguards and care through appropriate medical, psychological and legal protection against all forms of abuse.
The measure defines “gender-based violence” as physical, sexual, psychological violence occurring in the family, within the general community or condoned by the State which includes: battery; rape; sexual harassment; harmful traditional practices; exploitation; intimidation at work, educational institutions and elsewhere; prostitution; as well as human trafficking.
Janet Oviedo of the Office of the Vice Mayor told the Inquirer that since the one-stop crisis center officially opened last month, it has served three clients the LGBT community.
“They are grateful for the establishment of the crisis center. All three were battered by their partners and sought refuge at the center because they had nowhere else to go. Our legal officer at the center assisted them in filing charges in court against the people responsible for beating them,” she said.