MANILA, Philippines - Vice President Leni Robredo and former Pangasinan congresswoman Gina de Venecia extolled the country’s gains in championing the rights of abused women.
“The ability of women to shape their homes and community is a crucial aspect in building a nation,” Robredo told the gathering at De Venecia’s birthday celebration at The Haven in Muntinlupa City on Tuesday.
Robredo also vowed to prioritize women empowerment, along with hunger and food security issues, rural development, education, public health and housing as part of her Angat-Buhay anti-poverty program.
Robredo cited the gains made by De Venecia in establishing The Haven, a rehabilitation center and shelter for abused women and children.
De Venecia, when she was president of Congressional Spouses Foundation Inc. as wife of then speaker Jose de Venecia Jr., established The Haven with 15 regional centers to rehabilitate abused women and children.
She also took the initiative to establish The Haven for Children with four regional centers to help street children and The Haven for the Elderly in Tanay, Rizal for the elderly abandoned by their families.
Opened in September 1995, The Haven took custody of more than 25,000 abused women nationwide. They provided temporary shelter and protective custody of women aged 18 to 58 years who were victims of forced prostitution, illegal recruitment, battered/abused women, victims of sexual abuse and victims of armed conflicts.
“We take pride and satisfaction in the testimonies of many former clients who recovered from their lives of misery,” De Venecia said.
De Venecia said The Haven and its regional centers have been active in helping President Duterte in his campaign against illegal drugs.
She said that aside from women victims of sexual and domestic abuse, The Haven also helps the victims of illegal drug use.
De Venecia said The Haven is also accommodating the rehabilitation of street children who were also victims of illegal substances.
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