Migrant groups unite to raise awareness of domestic violence

Wilma Jacinto (left) and Roi Solikin

group of migrant workers has celebrated the seventh edition of an annual global campaign, One Billion Rising, which aims to end violence against women.

This year’s theme is “Rising: from a campaign, to a way of life,” referencing the community’s view that the campaign has already become a way of life since it kicked off in 2012.

Yesterday, several groups of migrant associations, including Migrante Macau and the Indonesian Macau Workers Union, gathered at the tent near Nam Van Lake to raise awareness of the campaign.

Held for the fifth time in the SAR, the small gathering featured the One Billion Rising dance and food sharing amongst the community.

Wilma Jacinto, Chairperson of Migrante Macau, told the Times that although Macau does not have a significant number of domestic violence cases, she believed that such awareness should still be spread in the region for women to know about and stand up for their rights.

According to the latest data, 32 cases of domestic violence were reported across Macau in the first half of 2018: 19 involving spouses, ten involving children and three involving other family members.
22 of the cases involved physical abuse.

“This issue is not so significant in Macau and we [migrants] have not encountered any severe cases of domestic violence that involves a domestic worker but we encourage these women to fight and stand up for their rights – not only in Macau but elsewhere,” said Jacinto.

Meanwhile, Roi Solikin stressed that many migrant workers in the city are vulnerable to domestic violence, and called on fellow women to raise awareness of this possibility.

“We need to strengthen this community for women so they will not be afraid to speak up. We do this for solidarity as there are really women who are prone to domestic violence,” she said.

In Macau, it has been three years since the Legislative Assembly approved Law n. 2/2016, listing actions of domestic violence as a public crime.

Catholic community celebrates sports fest

Catholic community gathered yesterday to celebrate its annual “Provincial Group Sports Fest” as part of its recreational activity.

Held annually for the past ten years, El Shaddai – Macau Chapter – hosts the event that also promotes the different cultures of the Philippines’ different provinces.

The day kicked off with a mass, a special message and the sports festival.

Emmamae Marcelo, the missionary in charge of the event, remarked, “the goal of the event is to have camaraderie […] and it is also a new way of evangelization as there are also newcomers.”

The groups each dressed in different attires and costumes that best represent their province, with a hint of a Chinese New Year element, as part of a competition.

El Shaddai, a local church that holds mass at Dom Bosco Chapel, has regular attendees of 200 every Sunday.

Marcelo further explained that the Catholic community has been growing, adding that there is a significant number of devotees attending mass every morning.

“We have regular masses and the Catholic faith has been really growing in the city,” said Marcelo.

She added that when the church celebrates its annual anniversary, it could gather up to 500 participants.

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