SEXUAL and emotional harassments are the two leading forms of child abuse in the country, according to a study by a non-government organization (NGO) last year.
The study of the National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children (NBS-VAC) showed that sexual abuse (11.8 percent) and emotional harassment (11.8 percent) were the principal forms of abuse on children.
Second was physical abuse with 10.1 percent, it said.
Dr. Bernadette Madrid, executive director of Child Protection Network Foundation (CPNF), noted that the study said combined intervention of the government and the NGOs does not stop child abuse in the country.
In fact, child abuse remains “highly prevalent” in the Philippines despite the government’s recognition of the problem.
The study said even the children who are the victims of different forms of abuse do not report the crime to government authorities.
It added that Philippine National Police and Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) personnel are the ones who refer the matter to the Child Protection Units or CPUs at the barangay (village) level.
And those being referred to village authorities are fewer than 1 percent of the total number of child abuse cases that were gathered during the study, Madrid said.
DSWD Undersecretary Vilma Cabrera called on stakeholders to “intensify our advocacy for children’s rights and welfare, while also strengthening the support systems needed for the recovery and rehabilitation of abused children and those who experienced trauma.” NELSON S. BADILLA