Rape is no joke, Gabriela warns Vice Ganda

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Gabriela Reps Emmi De Jesus and Luz Ilagan urge the media to use their influence to raise people's awareness on violence against women

TASTELESS. Vice Ganda earned the ire of reporters after making a 'rape' joke about news anchor Jessica Soho

MANILA, Philippines – Be more sensitive. 

This was the advice of Gabriela party list representatives to Jose Marie Viceral, more popularly known as Vice Ganda, who has drawn flak for making a joke on gang rape involving GMA news executive and anchor Jessica Soho. 

READ: Vice Ganda gets flak for ‘rape’ joke

Vice Ganda has apologized to Soho. But according to Gabriela Representatives Emmi De Jesus and Luz Ilagan, the incident reflects a deeper problem on “how the Philippine society views rape and violence inflicted against women and children.”

Instead of making light of the subject, the lawmakers said Vice Ganda and other media personalities should instead use their popularity to raise people’s consciousness on violence against women. 

Their statement said: “We urge those in the media, whether in the news or entertainment industry to make good use of their reach and influence to raise people’s consciousness on violence against women and be instruments in the fight to end all forms of violence against women.”

Gabriela cautioned the comedian — as well as other media personalities — against the danger of trivializing a sensitive subject such as rape. 

“Rape is among the worst—if not the worst—form of violence against women. It should not be trivialized nor should it be a subject of jokes,” the lawmakers said. “Rape is a subject that should be treated with utmost sensitivity. The trauma that victims and their families undergo is immeasurable.” 

In 2012, there were 51 reported cases of rape involving women in the Philippines, making it the 3rd among the most prevalent cases of violence against women. Meanwhile, rape involving children was the most prevalent form of abuse against children, with 227 reported cases in 2012. –

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