Ruffa Gutierrez has always spoken up against gender violence.
If you will recall, back in 2007, the actress revealed that her ex-husband Yilmaz Bektas had physically abused her.
During an episode of Its Showtime's "Reina Ng Tahanan," Ruffa—who is one of the judges—suddenly became emotional after a contestant had opened up about her experience of domestic abuse.
"You deserve only the best,” the actress told her. "Kailangan ba natin tiisin 'yong ganitong buhay? This is not what we deserve. We deserve more than that. Especially pag dating sa domestic violence, huwag natin hayaan na itrato tayo ng ganun ng mga asawa natin.”
While she acknowledges that breaking free from abuse is no easy feat, she went on to remind women that they always have a choice. She said: "We do have a choice in our lives and that choice is to leave that person that continues to hurt us.”
Recalling her own experience with gender violence, the mom shared: "Naintindihan ko na tinitiis mo 'yong pananakit ng asawa mo dahil sa mga anak mo. Nag tiis din ako. Nag tiis din ako noon... pero there’s a time when you have to stop."
Ruffa and Yilmaz have two daughters: Lorin and Venice.
After years of putting up with the physical abuse, the former beauty queen escaped from her conjugal home in Istanbul and returned to Manila.
"Kaya natin ‘yan," Ruffa tearfully said. "Please. Huwag niyong hahayaan na tratratuhin kayo ng ganun."
Do you know someone who is a victim of domestic violence? You can call the hotlines below:
Women's Care Center Inc. - (0999) 577-9631 or (0917) 825-0320
Philippine National Police: (02) 723-0401 to 20
PNP-Women and Children Protection Center: (02) 8414-0441
Inter-Agency Council on Violence Against Women and their Children - (0917) 867-1907 or (0917) 874-8961
Department of Social Welfare and Development: (02) 931-8101 to 07