Safe and Sound

Growing up, I’ve never really had that “Father Figure” because my Dad works abroad. 30 days out of the 365 days, a month per year do I get the chance to have a complete family. There was a time he decided to give it a try here. Only then I get the chance to see my parents together. It was hard for them, struggling to make ends meet so they can send both me and my brother to school. They had a few disagreements. My Mom is very outspoken, and there I would see my Dad, just quietly listening. I’ve never heard them yell at each other.

A few years later, my world expanded. I’ve seen how people can be mean and inhumane.

I’ve seen my close gal friend get beat up by her boyfriend at school. The look on that guy’s face was very scary, like he can kill anybody in that moment. I was afraid, but I have to protect my friend. I must up every ounce of courage left in me and shielded her from her attacker.

“Don’t you dare take a step closer or I will call the police and have you arrested. Don’t try me.”

A bunch of school officials came in and intervened. It turns out the boyfriend was some kind of stockholder in our school so there wasn’t any written reports about the incident. They were able to convince everyone that it was a domestic dispute and we don’t have the right to intervene. That guy still freely walks the halls of our school, even after I graduate. Nobody’s safe, especially for people like me and my friend.

I have a cousin who got beat up by a drunk and abusive brother-in-law because of a simple misunderstanding. Please take not that my cousin just gave birth via C-Section and she got kicked right where she has her stitches. She is black and blue all over. She called our family, crying for help. She did what she could. She reported the incident to the Baranggay Hall. She went to the Police but the sad part is the Women’s Desk wasn’t available so the Police don’t have her formal complaint filed up. She is currently in Sogod, Southern Leyte and we are over here in Manila. She badly wants to get out of that town and come back here to us but the papers (Medico-legal, etc.) she needs isn’t available until this coming Monday. She’s seeking Justice but to be able to process everything legally and by the book, she needs to stay there for two more days. The person who assaulted her already threatened to kill her, and he is still free and not behind bars. I wonder why the system is the way it is right now. We tried contacting organizations that could help us out but offices won’t be open until Monday. Abused women are helpless here. This is the devastating truth.

Now, all I can do is pray that she gets through until Monday. Until she gets home here safe and sound.