PSYCHOLOGICAL CENTER FOR SEXUALLY ABUSED GIRLS
A Haven of Love and Hope
Sexual violence occurs everywhere in society—in the home, in schools and work places, in public spheres, and in institutions. It is commonly understood as one or several of these situations—battery, rape, incest, sexual harassment, sexual exploitation and abuse, and human trafficking for forced prostitution. Over the years, Marillac Hills has served as a community for women and girls who are victims of sexual abuse and violence. It has enabled the protection, rehabilitation, and reintegration into society of the victims, a goal towards which ZCME has always been aiming to achieve. Victims who report sexual abuse are often not listened to or are even blamed for the violence they had experienced.
It was in 1997 when the award-winning Psychological Center for the Empowerment of Women (awarded by the Department of Social Welfare & Development) was established upon the initiative of former club president Georgitta Pimentel Puyat. Fast forward to this day, the center (located inside Marillac Hills in Alabang, Muntinlupa) has served as a safe haven for sexually-abused girls aged six to 17, providing them temporary shelter and rehabilitation in the hope of nurturing and developing them to be self-sufficient and self-fulfilled individuals. Recognizing that there are girls in the center who are already of adult age but have no place to go to, its present head, Joanne Zapanta-Andrada, has strived to create projects that will ensure that these young women will heal from their trauma, eradicate their feeling of hopelessness, and learn to live independently towards a healthy and secure future.