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How to stop sex scandal, women activists suggest ways


Manila, Philippines: Gabriela Women's Party Representatives Luzviminda Ilagan and Emmi De Jesus are now sisters, having Scandal as their new surnames.

“We added Scandal to our Facebook surname to express our concern over the proliferation of internet scandals as a form of Electronic Violence Against Women (EVAW) and to support Gabriela’s Bury the Past Project,” explained Rep. Emmi De Jesus.

“Bury the Past Project is Gabriela’s Facebook project to help scandal video victims bury the past. People can do this by adding “-Scandal” to their Facebook account surname. With enough support, we hope to disrupt internet search engines producing search results of real scandal videos, and "bury" the search results with everybody's facebook account which has been appended with the "-Scandal" surname. This simple act will go a long way. Search engines are the fundamental tool by which scandal video watchers find, watch, and spread these videos. If enough of us support the Bury the Past project, we can help so many victims finally bury the past, and truly start anew,” explained Gabriela solon Luz Ilagan.

"Violence against women, prostitution and pornography has all gone high tech. These days, women are being raped, gang-raped, harassed, prostituted and violated with just a click of the mouse. The proliferation of scandals that shame and destroy the lives and reputation of women is alarming and it should stop," Rep. Ilagan added.

"Thousands of links to websites containing pornography and prostitution, cyber-sex and scandal videos would turn up when the word "scandal" is searched in Google or Yahoo search engines. The trauma of being raped is multiplied every time the act is viewed online. And the real sex scandal happens after viewing the video. In viewing these sites and increasing the website hits, people who watch these videos increase the electronic violence that women victims experience,” added Rep. De Jesus.

The Gabriela solons have recently filed amendments to the Anti-Rape Law to include as among the crime's aggravating circumstances, the act of media recording and dissemination of the act of rape.

"We hope that our proposed amendments to the Anti-Rape Law are immediately heard and approved. The law needs to be improved to make it more responsive to the various ways that women are violated and abused in the age of internet and cyber technology," said Rep. Ilagan. For her part, De Jesus called for vigilance and responsible internet use.

"Let us be careful with what we post, what we click and what we like. Let us be careful not to contribute to the perpetuation and proliferation of violence against women. It is about time that we also study an amendment to RA 9262 adding EVAW as an additional aggravating factor in various laws protecting women from VAW," Rep. De Jesus ended.