Monday, December 19, 2016

Rapes alarm child 
protection council

TAGBILARAN CITY, December 14, (PIA) –It is either the campaign to end violence against women and children has emboldened society to report, or a more realistic picture of crimes against children has started to emerge.

The recent surge in rape cases has alarmed members of the Provincial Council on the Protection of Children (PCPC).

At the Gender and Development Technical Working Group meeting December 14 at the Reynas Garden, Provincial Social Welfare and Development Officer (PSWDO) Carmelita Tecson presented a report that alarmed the (PCPC).

In her report, Tecson showed a data on Crimes against Children from January to November 2016.

In Bohol, Tecson said, there have been 54 cases of rapes involving minors; below 18 years old.

11 cases of rape happened in the first quarter, doubling to 23 in the second quarter and then some 14 and 6 in the third and last quarter, the data showed.

But what is even more sinister is that for the same period, incestuous rape reported in women and children’s desks in the towns and collated by Camp Dagohoy showed 55 cases.

Incestuous rape is defined as a sexual assault to a victim by a family member or a close relative.

When police only noted 2 and 9 incestuous rape cases in the first and second quarter, it ballooned to 36 cases in the third quarter and some 8, momentarily for this quarter, the same report showed.

The PCPC and the Provincial Committee on Anti Trafficking and Violence Against Women and Children (PCAT-VAWC) have been pushing or the information and awareness campaigns on gender-based violence including abuse of children in any way they can, Tecson, who heads the social welfare office in Bohol said.

The campaign also include a referral pathway mechanism which should allow victims to approach the proper persons, she noted.

For the year, the PCWC still traced 3 cases of attempted rape, 3 cases of statutory rape and 5 cases of acts of lasciviousness.

Statutory rape, on the other hand is a consensual sexual relation when one of the parties is under the age of consent, and in the Philippines, is pegged at 12 years old.

This means any individual who, despite the agreement of either parties, still has a sexual relation even if one is below 12 years old.

By acts of lasciviousness of which 5 children or youth have complained, it means the act of making a physical contact with the body of another person for the purpose of obtaining sexual gratification other than, or without intention of, sexual intercourse.

Still, authorities recorded another 29 cases of other forms of child abuse for that same span, Tecson read from the report.

As to what the government has been doing, PSWDO Tecson said they have provided assistance to a total of 66 gender-based violence survivors.

The OPSWD has under its care the Bohol Crisis Center, a shelter and halfway house for abused women and children, now a critical service to Boholanos.

Moreover, they have also established and institutionalized the Stimulation and Therapeutic Activity Center for children with mobility and coordination disorders.

While there may not be a possible sexual violence involved in its recent rescue efforts, authorities in Bohol, accompanied by the DSWD assisted 38 persons (19 female children, 2 above 18 years old, 12 male children, 5 males above 18 years old from a foreign national.

The children were in a child caring institution presented as an Orphanage, but the DSWD said the institution operated without license to operate and accreditation from DSWD. (rac/PIA-7/Bohol)

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