WomenLEAD Foundation successfully spearheaded a five-day Paralegal Skills Training in VAW Litigation for Community Service Providers, in El Cielito Hotel, Makati City, Philippines under the Justice and Healing Project on August 15 to 19, 2011.
Highlights of the training include interactive discussions on what it takes to be a good paralegal, experiences of a practicing paralegal, and the modules: Women’s Human Rights Framework and VAW (which featured talks on CEDAW and VAW, and the Feminist Perspective of the Law), salient provisions of the different Laws on VAW, including RA 9262 (The Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act of 2004); RA 9208 (The Anti-Trafficking Law of 2003); RA 8353 (The Anti-Rape Law of 1997); RA 8505 (The Rape Victims Assistance Act of 1998); and Article 36, Family Code (Psychological Incapacity).
The training also delved on Evidence Gathering for VAW Cases, Civil and Criminal Procedures in VAW Cases, and practical aspects of the paralegal practice were also covered by sessions on drafting an application for protection order (under RA 9262), service and filing of pleadings, interviewing a VAW Survivor, and drafting an affidavit.
Participants also visited the courts and prosecutor’s offices to gain a deeper understanding of the litigation process by witnessing an actual court proceeding or investigation proceeding in the court or at the fiscal’s office, respectively.
As a culminating activity, the participants were given case studies to work on, with them choosing the applicable legal provisions to different cases, to follow the appropriate processes and procedures including interviewing the victim-survivor, preparing the necessary documents, filing the case in court/fiscal’s office, and assisting the survivor in the court process.
The participants displayed a firm grasp of the concepts, legal provisions and procedures in handling VAW cases and in providing rights-based, gender-responsive services to women and children victims of violence. They also commended the speakers and organizers for a thorough and comprehensive training that was also truly interactive and easily understandable.
Participants included representatives of organizations and local government units committed to offering gender-responsive services to women and children: BATIS Center for Women; Coalition Against Trafficking in Women – Asia Pacific (CATW-AP); Center for the Prevention and Treatment of Child Sexual Abuse (CPTCSA); CRIBS Foundation; EBGAN, Inc.; Faithful Companions of Jesus Learning and Development Center; GABRIELA Women’s Organization; GALANG Philippines; Institute for Social Studies and Action (ISSA); KALIPI-Abra; Lesbian Alliance Movement; Local Government Unit and the Philippine National Police of Guinobatan, Albay; Marang Family Circle, Quezon City; Metropolitan Community Church (MCC); MSWDO, Local Government of Tanay; and the University of the Philippines Center for Women’s Studies (UP-CWS).
ASSIST helped prepare the instructional materials for the training.#