by Jel Santos
Valenzuela City — A facility aimed at preventing retraumatization of abused children was opened in this city recently.
The Valenzuela City Child Protection Center (VCCPC) in Barangay Karuhatan is a one-stop-shop for children who were either physically or sexually abused. The P2.8-million center near the city hall aims to give a child-friendly environment for abused children.
Maria Christina Ramos, Valenzuela City Social Welfare Development (CSWD) staff, said the center intends to protect abused children by preventing retraumatization through repetitive questioning.
Under the VCCPC, there will be only one questioning where all necessary professionals are present to listen and assess.
“We want to prevent retraumatization of abused children. This is why the center was built in order to lessen the stress of the young victims,” Ramos said.
“The usual process is that abused children are being asked to repeatedly recall their painful experiences since there is no one-stop-shop for such cases. The trauma gets more agonizing to them as if the painful experience just happened,” Ramos explained.
She said the center is open 24/7 as per Mayor Rex Gatchalian, adding that concerned citizens may go there to report child abuse cases in their areas.
The said center has a medico-legal room, interview room with one-way mirror and viewing area, counseling rooms, conference room, play room, Gender and Development corner, walk-in file station, comfort room, information counter, and a visitor’s lounge.
The local government teamed up with the Consuelo Foundation for the project.
Dorothy G. Evangelista, CSWD head, said the VCCPC will be operated by a multi-disciplinary team composed of social workers, psychologists, police officers, medical doctors, and lawyers.
She said the team underwent a thorough trainings and seminars about child protection.
“The new Valenzuela Child Protection Center aims to help [abused] children by stopping retraumatization of victims by reducing the number of times they are needed to recall and bring back to one’s mind what they had experienced,” Evangelista said.
The VCCPC is the first protection center for children in the National Capital Region (NCR) and the third in the whole country. It is an output of the Child Abuse Prevention and Intervention Network (CAPIN), a Consuelo Foundation program which is designed to be a community guide and strategy.
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