“Pag wala ka nang matakbuhan, nandito ang BGHMC”

It is a crime hidden in some of the Filipinos’ households. We cannot give statistics of the number of women, children, elderly and disabled people who have been living every day of their lives in a cycle of abuse either physically, emotionally or sexually. We have no evidence on the long term outcomes of such abuses to the victims’ self esteem, their sense of self as individuals, and their quality of life.  

These victims often find themselves caught in the middle– in an internal fight of running away or staying– because in every day that they strive to live, there is that constant fear for their life.

They are muted by the consequences of telling anyone their truths for fear of being stereotyped, of being further ridiculed and thought of as pathetic, or of being sought less of a person. The silence of this violence is further amplified by our society’s view of such issues as taboo.

Their hurts are real. And we cannot keep ourselves blindfolded from these truths far longer, because the abuses are causing them wounds that do not heal even if sutured.

Baguio General Hospital and Medical Center has recognized these abuses and has stood up as partner for justice through its medicolegal and social service assistance. It is the institution’s commitment to uphold with the World Health Organization’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights (United Nations, 1948) a few of which are the following:

(1) Right to be born free and equal in dignity

(2) Right to freedom without distinction of any kind: race, color, sex, language, religion, political view

(3) Right to life, liberty and security

(4) Right not to be held in slavery

(5) Right not to be subjected to torture or cruel, inhuman or degrading treatment or punishment

(6) Right to be equal before the law and entitled equal protection of the law

(7) Right to be entitled in full equality to a fair and public hearing in determination of his rights and obligations and any criminal charges against him.

(8) Right to a standard of living for the health and well-being of himself and of his family including medical care; Right to security in the event of sickness, disability, widowhood and old age; Motherhood and childhood are to be entitled with special care and assitance

With these rights in mind, BGHMC has established its Women and Child Protection Unit or WCPU to cater to women, children, elderly, disabled or oppressed individuals who are victims of different forms of abuses, and thus facilitating the cessation of such abuses.

The WCPU of BGHMC comprise physician medicolegal officers and people of the social welfare services who teamed up to assist these victims of abuse through immediate first aids, physical examination for medicolegal purposes, emotional support and communication with authority, but still in keeping with confidentiality of patient information for their safety and security.

BGHMC is determined to put a stop to the silence and to reach out to these individuals. And we are encouraging every citizen to join us in our continued efforts to protect every individual: every woman, every child; every oppressed person. Because every person deserves the right to live.


Carisse Maria Tacta
Department of Orthopaedic

Universal Declaration of Human Rights. United Nation. Available at http://www.un.org/en/universal-declaration-human-rights/. Retrieved on August 8, 2017.