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Ana and her psycho-social transformation

July 15, 2014 · 

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by Rhoda Estinopo

July 14, 2014 – Monday  

Ana was brought in PREDA on April 28, 2011. She was rescued by Human Rights Team of PREDA  Foundation together with Social Workers from Municipal Social Welfare Office in Abucay Bataan. Allegedly, the child had an experience of incest perpetrated by the live-in partner of her biological grandmother.

Three years ago there were a lot of manifestation of child abuse as observed in the child’s behavior. She is one of the clients who was considered hard to manage in terms of her psycho-social dynamics. The child did not like to participate in most of the activities in the center. She was also not able to focus on her studies and usually had a temper outburst. It was also noticed that the child does not seem to care about her hygiene and health. As noticed, there was no emotional drive for her to strive hard for her future.

I personally experienced how the child resist the care of PREDA many times during her first year in the center. She was obviously in denial about her needs to be loved, cared and respected. Even so, the social workers, psychotherapist and other pofessionals persevered in rapport building and rehabilitation of the child. After several counseling sessions, emotional expression therapy, values formation and other therapeutic interventions, the child became able to express herself properly which aided to catharsis and disclosure of another abuse she went through. It took more than a year for the child to say exactly how she felt. I remember when she first cried in the primal room saying:

          “Wala ng halaga ang buhay ko! Pinabayaan ako ng nanay ko! Tinuring akong hayop ng lolo ko at ganon din ang ginawa sa akin ng tatay ko! Walang kwenta ang pamilya ko! Sana hindi na lang ako pinanganak!”

           (“My life is meaningless! My mother neglected me! My grandfther treated me like an animal the same thing as my father did to me. I wish I was not born.”)

I perceived the trust given to me by the child when she fearlessly narrated that she was also sexually abused by her biological father many times when she was in his custody. However, the child decided not to file a case against her father because her father was suffering from tuberculosis then. Few months after the disclosure, the child’s father went to PREDA and humbly admitted the crime he did. Before her father’s death, the child was able to talk to his father. She told him how painful it is to be abused by her own father whom she expected to give her protection from all forms of abuse.

In contrary to the behaviors seen on the child during her first year in PREDA, I believe that she showed so much improvements at present. Ana who is now fifteen years old is now one of the clients who can be trusted to encourage her new co-residents in adjusting to their new environment. Her potentials in performing at stage was also evident. She is one of the best modern and cultural dancer from the home for girls. At school she was given the responsibility to be the class president by her teacher and all her classmates. She gained empowerment and knowledge not only about her rights as a child but also self respect and ambition.

She still participates in the therapy sessions but her disclosures are more on her concerns about her siblings who were left in Abucay, Bataan. Also, whenever she attends counseling sessions she was observed serious about her case against her grandfather and wanted to pursue it until she get the justice that she deserves. She can now talk about the abuse she went through and whenever she recalls her past,  she is not emotionally diturbed any longer.

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