Lived Experiences of Sexual Violence in Tondo, Manila, Philippines Envisioning Change Through Body Mapping
Alexander, Malaya Lenna Sloane
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis addresses a gap in research about sexual violence (SV) in low-middle income countries. It explores women’s lived experiences of SV in Tondo, a community in the Filipino capital Manila. Using a transnational feminist lens and the arts-based methodology (ABR) of body mapping, the study sought to answer the research question: What can we learn about sexual violence prevention in the Philippines from women living in Tondo, Manila as they envision their community without sexual violence? Findings provide detailed information about prominent forms of SV in Tondo, the social contexts in which these incidents occur, and how women perceive and experience SV. The study identified six forms of SV experienced by women in Tondo including sexual assault perpetrated by husbands, employers, and older males; sex trafficking of adults; child sexual abuse; sexual harassment experienced on the streets of Tondo; child cyber-sex trafficking; and child sexual exploitation. Participants described family as central to their identity and their main source of social support yet described family as the context for much of the SV they experienced. This highlights the challenge family preservation and loyalty poses in addressing SV within families. On the other hand, this underlines the power familial relationships could have in SV prevention if the whole family was engaged in prevention strategies. The findings also highlighted the importance of religion and spirituality to participants’ identity, sense of safety, and their vision of Tondo without SV. These findings point to the role religion could also play in empowering women, increasing their sense of safety, and preventing SV in their community. Overall, the research process and findings offer insight into future areas of research including family-based approaches to SV prevention, the role spirituality and faith communities could play in SV prevention, transnational feminist action to prevent SV, and reimagining systems that perpetuate SV.