STEPS TO HEALING: WOMEN SURVIVORS SHARE STORIES OF SURVIVAL

When it comes to victims of Violence Against Women and Children (VAWC), it is the emotional and mental wounds that tend to take a longer time to heal than the physical injuries sustained from the experience.
The road to recovery often involves

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a series of counselling for victims to come to terms with their past ordeal and be able to move forward to rebuild their lives.

This was the primary purpose of the Focus Group Discussion (FGD) named “Healing and Recovery for VAWC Victims” conducted by the City Government through the supervision of the City Social Welfare and Development and also in coordination with the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) – Regional Office 08.

Through this activity, the facilitators – City Social Welfare Officer Nida Aroza and Assistant Social Welfare Officer Annie Mustacisa hope to help the participants put their traumatic experience behind them so that they can start anew. Assisting them in this undertaking were the DSWD – Regional Office 08 personnel namely Asther Dadulla, and Ofelia Pagay.

The stress that can be caused by reliving a traumatic ordeal was somehow lessened by the presence of fellow VAWC survivors. Sharing their thoughts and feelings enabled the thirty (30) participants to form a bond with each other, further erasing the feelings of isolation that is often caused by this experience.

Engr. Meilou Macabare, the Provincial Director of Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Ms. Lourdes de la Cruz, each gave testimonies as VAWC survivors. By listening to experiences which mirrored their own, participants gained a clearer picture of what they have been through which helped them in taking small steps towards recovery.

This journey towards self-recovery and realization was supplemented with a discussion about the salient features of Republic Act 9262 (VAWC). The purpose behind this was so that the survivors will become aware of their rights. By so doing, they will be able to claim these rights and avoid becoming victims once again.

(Article by Ms. Lai Minh Mabulay, Office of the City Mayor; Photos provided by the Office of the City Social Welfare and Development)

 

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