“Childhood should be carefree, playing in the sun; not living a nightmare in the darkness of the soul” — Dave Pelzer, A Child Called “It”s
A chunk of its campaign in advancing child protection and human rights, the Children Center (CLRDC) organized a series of workshops on Child Sexual Abuse Prevention and Safety in its partner Barangay in Caloocan City, at Barangay 176 from February to July 2016.
The said activity commenced in February this year with the members of the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children (BCPC) as the first batch of the shareholders to avail this significant exercise. The succeeding workshops run twice a month with different batches of participants. This activity was one of the needs identified by the BCPC that necessitates information drive to address the increasing numbers of cases of child sexual abuse occurring in the said barangay.
For the last leg of the seminar/workshop series, CLRDC through the office of Kagawad Ruth Fredejas of Barangay 176, Zone 15, District 1 of Caloocan city, conducted a whole day activity on Child Sexual Abuse Safety and Prevention Measures last 2 July 2016 at the Barangay Hall of Barangay 176.
The last streak of the seminar/workshop for this cycle was attended by mothers, guardians and children as young as 5 years old from Bagong Silang Phases 1,5, and 9, and the whole day event was filled with engaging discussions, activities, and sharing from the participants and the resource speakers.
Subjects ranging from the basic concepts of Anti-Child Abuse law, common misconceptions about sexual abuse, tell-tale signs of child sexual abuse to different ways to protect the children from child abuse and sexual abuse were discussed. The highlight of the topic was the clue on “how perpetrators groom their potential victims.”
To make the workshop more interactive, the CLRDC team prepared activities that suits the participants and that made the learning experience all-inclusive by allowing children’s voices to be heard .
Maribel, one of the many mothers who came to the event said that her learning from the workshop is very helpful especially since her daughter is still young. She added that the safety tips and measures are useful to protect her daughter as well as the young children in her community from abusers. Princess, a 9-year old participant shared that she enjoyed the activities during the event and that she learned about protecting herself from any possible perpetrator.
At the end of the workshop, engaging discussions followed among the participants as well as consultations with the representatives of the barangay with respect to the proper reporting of possible cases of child abuse and sexual abuse in the community. This interest shown by the participants encourages CLRDC to sustain this kind of awarenessraising especially in the community where many marginalized children have less access to justice.
(By: Pamela Camacho, CLRDC Intern from University of the East College of Law)