With COVID-19 lockdowns, people’s movements were limited, businesses, even schools, were shuttered. Help desks and shelters for sexual violence victims were no exception.
In Muntinlupa City, a few months into the quarantine, police laid down a “no in, no out” policy in the custodial center for offenders. So when a case of father-child incest was reported, the father was “evicted” from the family home instead of being held at the police station, says social worker Adelfa de Guzman.
It was one of the interventions the city’s Sagip Center came up with to ensure the safety of children and women during the pandemic.
Sagip Center, a 24/7 crisis center for abused women and children, is an NGO established in 1998. It was fully turned over to the local government of Muntinlupa in 2017.
Sagip Center not only provides shelter, psychosocial intervention, health and medical services, and overall support for abuse victims but also assists in the legal process.