At the launch of Voices Against Violence, Ruffa Gutierrez spoke up about the domestic abuse she allegedly suffered from ex-husband Yilmaz Bektas, who is based in Turkey. “Would you believe until now I’m still afraid of my ex-husband? Even if he’s invited me so many times to go back, I don’t want to because I have this notion in my head that he will kill me," she said at the launch organized by Avon Foundation for Women and non-government organization Vital Voices, according to ABS-CBN News.
Though they are civil now, Ruffa said, “It's very difficult. You learn from those lessons but when we discuss it, like right now, there’s still pain in my heart. So I guess you never really forget whatever those experiences have brought you, but you just learn and you move on.”
The former beauty queen recalled, “I was actually in denial. My parents were saying, 'Why do you have black and blue spots on your body?' I didn’t say anything until I couldn’t take it anymore and I was ready to leave my husband.”
Ruffa emphasized the importance of victims speaking up and having the resources to become financially independent. The actress said she's raising her daughters, Lorin and Venice, to be independent and that she's accepting endorsements for them because “I want them to be financially stable.”
According to the report, Voices Against Violence is a three-day workshop bringing together government and private sectors to help end gender-based violence in the country.
If you are or you know someone who is a victim of domestic violence, you can call the hotlines below:
- Department of Social Welfare and Development: (02) 931-8101 to 07
- DSWD-NCR Ugnayan Pag-asa Crisis Intervention Center: (02) 734-8639, (02) 734-8654, (02) 734-8626 to 27
- Philippine National Police: (02) 723-0401 to 20
- PNP-Women and Children Protection Center: (02) 410-3213
- NBI-Violence Against Women and Children Desk: (02) 523-8231 to 38, (02) 525-6028
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