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Public warned: Children as young as 1 victimized by sexual predators

Children as young as one year old have become victims of sexual abuse.

Police data shared by Florida Radam, regional coordinator of the Regional Sub-Committee for the Welfare of Children (RSCWC) in Calabarzon identified the youngest victim as female while 33 other female victims were aged 17 years old and below. 

“And because sexual abuse is not exclusive to females, we recorded two cases of male victims, the youngest  was 2-years-old while 15 other cases 17-years-old and below,” she said.

She said the distressing reality is that the perpetrators are often the people closest to them – their own family, who should ideally be the one to prioritize their well-being, Radam explained.

She added: “Unfortunately, in the Philippines, it’s common for extended family members to live together in one house, including their uncles, aunts, cousins, or any family’s closest friends. However, of course, there are still cases where strangers, friends, or whatever label they may have become perpetrators of these cases”.

Aside from these data, the PNP also documented instances of transexual abuse with victims as young as 14 years old and Online Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children or OSAEC which happens through the use of online digital platforms.

Given that abusive individuals often reside in the same house as the victims, there is no definite answer to prevent it, Radam warned, but there is always a way to find a solution to end their sufferings.

RSCWC together with the PNP, the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI), the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) and other government and private organizations ramp up their campaign and advocacy to end child sexual abuse and any form of abuse involving children.

This includes the launching of ‘Mahalin at Kalingain ang Ating mga Bata’ also known as Makabata Helpline 1383 which aims to develop a mechanism that will provide quick response, monitoring, and feedback in all platforms including online, electronic mail and calls.

The Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC) encourages the public to report any abuse through their Makabata Helpline 1383 to prompt immediate action.

Through this platform, referrals from concerned agencies or private organizations are provided to respond to the emergencies of the children.

The RSCWC also has its own counterparts to adequately respond to the situation with the help of inter-agency provincial and local councils for the Protection of Children.

Radam, meanwhile, reminded parents and trusted guardians to closely monitor their children, know who they are with, and what they are doing. Moreover, teach them to be vocal about what is happening to them to prompt immediate action.

Children, regardless of their gender, must be safeguarded from sexual abuse for their well-being. It is upon us to make a difference and to be an advocate to raise awareness about the prevalence of this heinous act. (CO/PIA-4A)

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Charmaine Odong

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Region 4A

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