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Seven Years, A Long Road to Justice

January 10, 2017 · 

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Seven Years, A Long Road to Justice

She was a very traumatized and broken 15-year old child, continuously raped and abused by her own father until she was rescued by the Preda social workers and brought to the Preda Home for Girls. Had Gina not had a refuge free from fear and safe from her abuser, her own father, she would have run away from home and surely would have been a victim of human trafficking.

As many as 70 percent of children abused in their own home that run to the streets are picked up by pimps and traffickers and sold into the sex bars.

But Gina was saved before that happened. The weeks before June 2007, she was raped repeatedly and suffered acts of abuse by her own father. Her mother left the three children with the unemployed father while she worked as a domestic in Manila. This is the plight of many families where the mother works away from home or abroad as an overseas worker. The children are left unprotected and vulnerable at times.

In the Preda Home, Gina was welcomed, given affirmation and support and helped to feel at home and safe and secure. No further abuse would happen to her. This made her relax and cry with relief that she had been rescued and was understood and believed.

She had emotional expression therapy over several months and brought out all her anger and pain directed at her father. She had extensive counseling. She gave her life testimony and joined in the many group activities at the home. There were values training, education on children’s rights, music, art, sport, games, discussions and outings to resorts, to the beach and other positive experiences.
These are all part of the Preda human development program.

The support and encouragement and care she received made her a strong person of character and instilled in her a desire for justice. She was empowered to file a legal case against her father. Her testimony regarding the acts of abuse committed against her was accepted by the court and the decision was delivered on 8 December 2016 in Balanga, Bataan.

Seven years is a long time waiting for the decision following the deliberations and the resting of the case. Such a long delay is customary in the Philippines. It is however detrimental to the process of justice for the accused and the victim. The need to implement the constitutional right of every individual to a speedy timely trial ought to be respected and implemented. Although it took seven years, for 15-year old Gina, justice was done.

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