Dumaguete LGU, Consuelo Foundation launch Child Protection Unit

DUMAGUETE CITY, (PNA) –- The local government of Dumaguete and Consuelo Foundation on Wednesday launched the Child Protection Unit (CPU) as part of the city’s Child Protection and Intervention Network (CAPIN) to avoid a child-victim of abuse from coming down with multi-trauma syndrome.

The CPU, otherwise known as the Pink Room, is designed to lessen the trauma of abused children, especially rape victims, by providing a private venue for a one time multi-disciplinary intervention and interviews by concerned authorities.

Dauzeen Mercado, CAPIN project coordinator, explained that one of Consuelo Foundation’s requirements in funding the CAPIN is for the city to give as counterpart the CPU facility and a multi-disciplinary team to handle the cases of child abuse.

The multi-disciplinary team will be composed of a social worker, a police woman from the Women’s and Children’s Concerns Desk and a doctor from the City Health Office headed by Dr. Ma. Sarah Talla.

Mercado noted that children victimized by various forms of abuse, specifically rape, are usually subjected to multiple trauma by being interviewed separately at different venues, such as a public office.

These child-victims need privacy and confidentiality when subjected to these processes, she added.

Court testimony proficiency is also one of the goals in establishing the Child Protection Unit.

The non-government organization Gender Watch Against Violence and Exploitation (GWAVE) is also involved in the implementation of the CAPIN.

Executive Order No. 7, series 2013, has authorized the formation of the CAPIN under the City Council for the Protection of Children.

The Consuelo Foundation has allocated P100,000 for the acquisition of equipment and other paraphernalia needed for the Pink Room, as well as providing training for the multi-disciplinary team.

Dr. Talla, Police Officer 2 Jinky Alalong and social worker Wilma Villanueva will undergo training on multi-disciplinary approach on handling children’s cases this month in Manila.

Meanwhile, Mayor Manuel Sagarbarria has expressed optimism that with the CPU in place, the city will be able to regain its glory days of being awarded several times as a Child Friendly City.

Mayor Sagarbarria and OIC City Social Welfare Officer Carola Somoza Alquero led in the ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday morning.

Also, the city officials, the multi-disciplinary team and members of CAPIN, GWAVE and the Dumaguete Council for the Welfare of Children, who were also present, took their oath of commitment to work together to make the CPU implementation successful.