Healing from abuse through art and nature

The Nayong Pilipino Foundation became a venue for an art therapy session for survivors of domestic abuse on 23 March.

The activity was participated by women from Tahanan Santa Luisa, a crisis intervention center based in Antipolo, Rizal, that empowers street girls with experiences of abuse by giving them a safe place to heal and grow.

The initiative is part of the Nayon for Healing Campaign, which was launched last 2021 when the agency hosted both a vaccination and quarantine facility during the coronavirus pandemic. The campaign was initiated in order to contribute to the mental and emotional wellbeing of the patients and staff stationed in the property, through physical enhancements and recommended activities. The campaign highlights the NPF site as not just green space, but also a healing space.

According to the Philippine Statistics Authority in their 2017 National Demographic Health Survey, one in four Filipino women, aged 15 to 49, has experienced physical, emotional, or sexual violence from their husband or partner.

The NPF believes that this art therapy activity will empower women through beneficial effects on their psyche and can aid in the cultivation of their self-esteem and emotional resilience.

For more than three decades, art therapy has been documented as an important method in addressing the emotional pain of young survivors of violence, while nature can generate many positive emotions, such as calmness, joy and creativity and can facilitate concentration.

participants used a variety of art methods, including drawing, painting, sculpture and collage.