The city, through the City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO), continues to provide psychosocial interventions, educational assistance, and spiritual enhancement to girls, aged 5-17, who are victims of sexual abuse.

Ms. Glenda D. Espada, RSW – Center Head, CIC-Balay Dangupan Center in an interview on the Davao City Disaster Radio said currently, they have 42 young girls, the youngest of whom is 8 while the oldest is 21 years old.

“Naa ta’y 21 [years old] because naa’y mga bata na wala pa gyud na-reintergate pa sa ilang pamilya kay naa pa’y pamilya nga dili pa willing mabalik sa ilahang kustodiya. So, padayon ang among paghatag og programa ug serbisyo sa mga kabataan, sama sa pagpadayon sa ilahang pag-eskwela aduna’y psychosocial interventions nga ginahatag para mabalik ang normal functioning sa mga kabataan nga naka-experience og different forms of abuses (We have 21 years old because there are still families who are not willing to have their children back to their custody. So we continue to provide them programs and services, such as continuing educational programs and psychosocial interventions, in order for the children who experienced different forms of abuse to regain their normal functioning),” she said.

Espada said that to support the activities and programs for the children within the center, they have three social workers, one resident psychometrician, one nurse, 12 house parents, a cook, a driver, and a security guard to ensure the security of the area.

Almost all of the children go to school so that their “developmental right” will not be deprived and spiritual activities are provided to give them stronger will in facing life.

Espada said that since Balay Dangupan is only a temporary shelter, the reintegration of the children into their homes is their main goal. A parenting capability report from the district where the child resides is required first before proceedings can take place for the child to be released from the center.

She revealed that some parents are not willing as they cannot reintegrate the children into their homes because some of them favor their other family members, who committed the abuse. As an alternative, they identify other relatives where the child can be comfortable.

“Gipaningkamutan pud namo nga mas maayo nga maibalik ang bata nga ready gyud kaayo ang ginikanan o kinsa man nga kaparyentihan nga mu-custody sa mga bata…. kung dili andam ang ginikanan nga mubalik unsa’y nahitabo mubalik gihapon ang trauma sa atoang kabataan (We are really doing our best so that once the child is reintegrated the parents are ready as well as the relative who will have custody.. if the parents are not ready and what took place will be repeated, the trauma of the child will come back),” she said. CIO