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Migrant Worker Sexual Abuse Prevention Training Program 2016/11/01
▲A social worker shares her service experiences with other participants.

 By Nina Huang, International Affairs Specialist, CEO Office, GOH Headquarters. 

At the Migrant Worker Sexual Abuse Prevention Professional Training Program, organized by the Garden of Hope Foundation (GOH) and sponsored by the Ministry of Health and Welfare, over 40 delegates from different public sectors and civil organizations gathered in Kaohsiung City, from October 12-13 to discuss how to use the legal system to aid in the prevention of sexual assault against female migrant workers in Taiwan and to meet the needs of survivors, especially foreign domestic care givers from Southeast Asia.

Speakers at the conference include Kali Lee, a specialist from the Research and Development Department of GOH; Yin-Mei Pan, a division chief of the Sexual Assault Prevention and Protection Division of the Ministry of Health and Welfare; Yu-Lain Zhong, a counseling psychologist from the Taoyuan Armed Forces General Hospital; Fr. Ranulfo T. Salise, CS, the Director of AOS-APOSTOLATUS MARIS Taiwan-National; Pin-Pin Hsu, a lawyer from Legal Aid Foundation; Pei-Chun Chen, a supervisor of social workers from the Association of Taiwan People’s Social Welfare and Xiuchen Liu, a researcher from the Ministry of Labor.

“Female domestic migrant workers are constantly at risk in their working environment because of their isolation and vulnerability,” said Kali, “In addition, some indecent brokers and employers threaten them with huge financial burdens and damage to their personal reputations after raping them. This is why we must unite with a common mission to assist them within the legal and social welfare systems.”

This training program focused on foreign female migrant workers in two ways. The first goal was to strengthen the professional knowledge and skills of social welfare and labor affairs workers, and shelter staff on the needs of victims of sexual abuse in order to improve their quality of service. The second goal was to increase the opportunities for communication and interaction among workers in the service network to improve the efficiency and proficiency of sexual assault prevention.

“People in crisis or who have endured traumatic experiences do not see themselves as needing mental health services and are unlikely to request them,” said Father Ranulfo. “Reactions to a crisis or a traumatic event vary considerably from person to person. Thus, we need to provide survivor-centered service in order to assist our clients who suffered from sexual violence.”

Through the use of interactive group sessions and daily case discussions, the participants felt empowered by their increased understanding of the issue, and were happy to resume their work armed with new strategies to combat sexual assault.

(Special thanks to volunteer  Avery Lemmo for proofreading.)

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