Bahay Pangarap, a New beginning- A special support for incest victims : Just one of our missions in HAPI.
Sex Education and awareness are still not properly implemented. The prevalence of domestic violence has been shrugged off. People in the slums knew it existed, but does not dare speak about it. The support and awareness of the plight of incest victims in the Philippines is still in its infancy and dismal in both material and legal support. Rape or sexual abuse is treated as if non-existent.
Incest in the Philippines is still taboo in discussion, even if the law has sighted several rights of women and children, the economic side of it still plays the big role in controlling the victims in speaking out. Those who are brave to speak out are either thrown out of their own homes or placed in a private care.
The stigma is still there.
Very few organizations have offered a stable place for these victims. Those that house incest victims have very limited access to personal hygience, education and support. Bahay Pangarap Women Center, Brgy. Tabe, Guiguinto, Bulacan is one of them. Although, it is under the Diocese of Malolos, their operation is very dependent on the care and support of private individuals. Orphanages have better support than these type of havens. Some of these cases are very sensitive that children are guarded. Being active on these cases made me realize what we lack as a society, being patriarchal in nature.
Bahay Pangarap is basically a halfway house for females in crisis, it is a temporary center for women suffering from abuse. It was meant to be a temporary shelter so that the women will be self sufficient after being rehabilitated. But from those who understand what they have gone through, with how the judicial system in the Philippines is as slow as a snail in a rat race, the girls turns into woman before she can see and attain her justice. So in the meantime, the center becomes her home instead of a half way house.
The children can stay at the center after their case is litigated but having minimal funds to support their daily needs the center is heavily dependent on private support.
It was fortunate that Ms Marissa Torres-Langseth aka Ms M was looking for a project to share her birthday celebration and she handpicked the center.
Personal hygiene products are scarce to come by, usually the donation will be big bottles to be shared or bought in bulk. So when the girls were given each a set, the happiness they have is insurmountable. Those in the hygiene kit will only last them a few weeks but what Ms M shared will be treated with tenderness.
This is what HAPI is about. Free from judgement of any kind and just sharing what HUMANISM feels like. To be perceived important although fleetingly impacts a person’s life. I believe that it is only right to be HUMAN, which means treating everyone as HUMANELY as we can.
We are HAPI in story and in deeds.