DSWD probes child abuse in Northern Mindanao
by Charmaine P. Tadlas
Cagayan de Oro City (11 February) -- The DSWD is calling out the public to observe the National Awareness Week for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation, which will fall on the second week (February 8-14, 2009) of February this year.
The theme of this year's celebration is "Sekswal na Pangaabuso sa Bata, Nangyayari Saan Man: Karahasang Dapat Wakasan!" (Child Sexual Abuse Happens Everywhere: Violence That Must Be Stopped!).
Reports from DSWD reveal that there is a growing sexual violation against children that remain to be a social concern until now.
From 2000 to 2007, there are about 1,270 children who were sexually abused and 28 were sexually exploited in Northern Mindanao alone. The ages of these children range from one year old to below 18 years old.
Under the Implementing Rules and Regulations of Republic Act 7610, child sexual abuse refers to an act "generally perpetuated by an adult whom the child knows-most often a parent, guardian, or a person with authority over the child, and that generally has no commercial element". Child sexual abuse is generally in the form of rape, incest, and acts of lasciviousness.
Sexual exploitation, on the other hand, involves commercial exploitation of children in prostitution and pornography.
DSWD has reports that most of the cases of child sexual abuse and exploitation were committed by persons in authority of the child victim.
Recent reports of child sexual abuse and exploitation committed inside school campuses has also become an alarming concern for DSWD and other children advocates.
DSWD encourages the public to contribute in making the communities a safe haven for children by reporting any cases of violence against them to the law enforcements, non-government organizations, or to the DSWD regional office located at Masterson Avenue, Upper Carmen, Cagayan de Oro City. The public may also call DSWD at 088-858-8134 or 858-8892. (DSWD-10) [top]