More than 250,000 women who were victims of violence, physical and sexual abuse, exploitation, illegal recruitment, human trafficking and armed conflict were assisted by the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) last year.
Despite serving a total of 253,091 women in especially difficult circumstances (WEDC), DSWD Secretary Corazon Soliman on Wednesday said, “We have a lot more to do to strengthen the capacity of women, to help and improve themselves.”
Of the 253,091 women, 249,581 were assisted by the DSWD through community-based services nationwide, while 3,510 WEDC have undergone residential care facilities.
In the community-based services, the women are provided with gender-responsive case management and appropriate services such as, but not limited to, temporary shelter, psychosocial support and healing sessions, medical services, self-enhancement sessions, livelihood skills development sessions, counseling services, legal assistance and witness preparation and referral to concerned agencies for other appropriate interventions.
The DSWD manages 22 residential care facilities for disadvantaged women and girls such as Haven for Women located in Alabang, Muntinlupa City (Metro Manila), and in Regions I, II, III, IVA, VI, VII, VIII, XI, Marillac Hills, also known as National Training School for Girls in Alabang, and Group Home for Girls located in Regions I-XII.
The facilities provide home life services, counseling services and escorting of clients during court hearings in the absence of social worker from the local government unit (LGU), socio-cultural and recreational program, spiritual enhancement, leadership and skills training, medical and dental services, vocational training and livelihood productivity program and referral to other NGOs (non-government organizations) with programs and services responding to the needs of the clients.
After-care services and community-based support services are also given to these women by the Local Social Welfare Development Offices once they are discharged from the centers and are reintegrated with their families and communities.
“I believe that with the joint efforts of different sectors, we can achieve this goal,” Soliman said.