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Ruffa Gutierrez On Domestic Abuse: 'Huwag Nating Hayaan Na Itrato Tayo Ng Ganon'
PHOTO BY (FROM LEFT) YouTube/ABS-CBN Entertainment, Instagram/iloveruffag
  • Ruffa Gutierrez, 47, became emotional while reacting to the story of a mom contestant from the "Reina ng Tahanan" segment of noontime variety show It’s Showtime. The contestant shared that her husband constantly cheated on her and that she was also a victim of domestic abuse.

    "Reina ng Tahanan" is a pageant for moms where Ruffa is one of the judges. In that particular episode that aired on Thursday, October 8, some of the contestants shared their personal experiences, including times when their partners cheated on them and hurt them.

    One of the moms, Florita Liray, shared that because of the continued abuse, she decided to put her husband to jail. But in the end, she chose to forgive him.

    She explains that it was because of the vow they made during marriage to stay together in good times and in bad times. They also have five kids together, which is why she was willing to sacrifice for the relationship.

    “Ako na lang ang magpakumbaba, ako na lang magdala sa lahat… kaysa sa inyo na mawawalan kayo ng tatay. Sa isang taon, 365 [days], so isang araw lang magkamali ang papa niyo, okay na,” she shares in a message directed to her children.

    According to Florita, she can already see some changes in her husband after what they've been through.

    Ruffa shares own experience

     

    PHOTO BY YouTube/ABS-CBN Entertainment
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    When it was her turn to speak, Ruffa shared that she can relate with the mom contestants, especially as she had similar personal experiences.

    The actress started by reminding the contestants to love themselves. “Just remember, magaganda kayo and always love yourselves. You deserve only the best.”

    She also told them that women have a choice to stop the abuse and that it's okay to leave if the situation is already affecting not only the mother, but also their kids.

    “Sa dami-daming buhay na narinig namin dito — ke mayaman, matangkad, guwapo o medyo tamad ka, pangit, bungi, nambababae sila... Ito na ba yung kultura natin na kaya nating tanggapin iyon?

    “I’m serious. I’m so affected, di ba, na parang kailangan ba natin tiisin ang ganitong buhay? This is not what we deserve. We deserve more than that, so let’s love ourselves,” the mom of two adds.

    Ruffa seemed particularly affected with Florita's ordeal. “And especially sa domestic violence, huwag nating hayaan na itrato tayo nang ganoon, ng mga asawa natin, 'di ba? Make a stand. We do have a choice in our lives.

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    “And that choice is to leave that person that continues to hurt us,” she shares, in tears.

    Ruffa advised Florita to also think about herself and pursue her dream of finishing her studies to become a nurse. “Develop yourself and you can become a nurse,” she says.

    “Naiintindihan ko yung tinitiis mo yung pananakit ng asawa mo dahil sa mga anak mo, pero ako nagtiis din ako. Nagtiis din ako noon. But there is a time when we have to stop.

    “Kaya natin iyan, Nanay. Please, huwag niyo hahayaan na tratuhin kayo nang ganoon. I’m so sorry, it’s just so painful,” Ruffa adds.

    Ruffa's previous marriage

    Ruffa was previously married to Turkish businessman Yilmaz Bektas in 2003. They have two daughters, Lorin, 18, and Venice, 17.

    Around fourteen years ago, in a joint statement released in 2007, the couple announced that they were separating.

    Ruffa had always been vocal about the abuse she received from Yilmaz during their marriage. In a presscon back in 2019, the actress shared that she still feels fear whenever her ex-husband asks her to meet up.

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    “I’ll be lying if I don’t admit that I’m still scared of my ex. It’s been twelve years [since we separated] and we’re okay now.

    “We talk but even if he’s invited me many times to go back to Istanbul, I can’t do it because I have this notion in my head that he will kill me,” the actress shared.

    If they were to see each other again, Ruffa would prefer it to happen in the United States. “My children are American citizens as well, so I know that if he goes there and does something wrong, he’ll be sent to prison,” she said.

    This story originally appeared on Pep.ph and was translated to English by the SmartParenting.com.ph editors.

    Ruffa speaks up about her previous marriage here.

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