Statement Condemning Sexual Harassment in Creative Spaces

Editor's Note | August 10, 2019

In light of the events recently brought to its attention, the Board of Trustees of the Davao Writers Guild has unanimously voted to expel one of its members from its ranks, effective immediately. This ruling, supported by the majority of the members of the guild, follows the official sanction handed by his previous employer regarding the case of sexual harassment filed against him. The redaction of his name from this statement is not an act of protection for this member, but an act of compassion, and our compliance with the code of ethics on handling sexual harassment cases.

The Davao Writers Guild reaffirms its commitment to honing the talents of young and emerging writers of Davao and Mindanao. We believe that fulfilling this commitment can only be done when young talents are assured that they will be provided guidance and mentorship in a safe learning environment, free from threats of sexual harassment and predation.

In support of this commitment, the Davao Writers Guild has decided to include an Anti-Sexual Harassment orientation during every run of the Davao Writers Workshop, in order to help young and emerging artists navigate the manifestations of sexual misconduct in spaces of mentorship and artistic gathering. This lecture also aims to improve our own understanding of the power dynamics surrounding sexual violence, the early manifestations of sexual predation, and the ways that the Guild, as a literary institution that trains young and emerging writers, can foster among its members and mentees a culture that prevents and rejects sexual harassment.

The Davao Writers Guild is in solidarity with concerned Filipino writers and artists in condemning teachers, resource speakers, workshop panelists, writers, and artists, who abuse their power and influence in order to take advantage of young artists who come under their tutelage. We condemn the perpetuation of rape culture in writers workshops and denounce institutions that mishandle complaints of sexual misconduct brought to their attention and authority.

The Guild acknowledges the struggle of sexual trauma survivors, especially those who come forward with their complaints. We urge literary institutions and organizing committees of writing workshops, especially those which are funded by the public, to address all future complaints with compassion, dignity, and respect to the rights of survivors of any form of sexual harassment.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.