Advancing the protection of sexually abused children

Advancing The Protection Of Sexually Abused Children

Special Envoy of the President to the UNICEF Hon. Monica Louise Prieto-Teodoro paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Arthur Defensor Jr. on May 13, 2024, in a demonstration of collaborative efforts towards enhancing the protection of sexually-abused female teenagers.

Provincial Administrator Atty. Dennis Ventilacion and Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office Social Welfare Officer Ms. Ann Rapunzel Ganzon joined Gov. Defensor in welcoming the delegates.

Joining Hon. Teodoro is Ms. Laurence Ligier, foundress and director in France of Cameleon Association Inc., an institution dedicated to the rehabilitation and empowerment of abused children.

It currently has a shelter located at Brgy. Sablogon, Passi City, Iloilo. Ligier shared that 80 per cent of their clients at the centre are victims of incest rape.

The courtesy visit served as a platform to engage in meaningful discussions on pertinent issues and possible areas of collaboration relative to child protection.

One of the issues raised is that the Cameleon shelter is located in front of the Passi City District Jail, where the perpetrators of the sexual abuse are jailed and are visible to the victims which is taking a toll on their mental health.

During the press conference which followed the visit, Governor Defensor said he would talk to Passi City Mayor Stephen Palmares regarding the possible transfer of the district jail to another location.

Defensor said the provincial government is also willing to provide a building which will house the new district jail. In the meantime, as a short-term solution, the governor proposed to put up a barrier to separate the shelter and the jail.

“We want to help Cameleon because they play a huge part in taking care of our sexually abused girls. We want to give all the help that we can give,” he said.

Defensor also committed to continue its partnership with UNICEF in terms of advancing social welfare initiatives.

Hon. Teodoro was very grateful to Governor Defensor for a “very productive conversation” wherein they shared their commitment to build a community that promotes the well-being of vulnerable children.

“We are in good hands as far as this meeting is concerned. We just have to move forward and implement the plan. So it is a solid foundation to protect the interest of the children,” she said.

The courtesy visit underscored significant partnership in creating a better and brighter future for every child. (Capitol News)