SAN FERNANDO CITY — For the children who are the most vulnerable in contracting COVID-19, there is another threat that lingers inside their homes during this crisis — and worse, members of their family themselves usually are the culprit.
Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD) Field Office III reported that there is a surge in child abuse cases at this time of pandemic. Planning Officer Aple Shane Lomoljo said that in a study conducted by the Council for the Welfare of Children (CWC), the perpetrators to the abuse are usually housemates and family members of the children.
“Our children are just inside their houses, so there is a high chance that the perpetrators are with them inside their homes. Most of those who are abusing the children are family members, especially those who are using illegal drugs,” she added.
Increasing risks of violence where the children are exposed include maltreatment, gender-based violence and sexual exploitation.
Lomoljo pointed that what increases the likelihood that the children are physically, psychologically, or sexually abused is that some of the parents are distressed in losing their jobs because of the pandemic, and they tend to take it out on their children.
“Some reasons are also seen such as the children cannot go out their houses, closure of the schools, they are not enrolled, they are isolated from their friends, or that they suffer from dysfunctional family situations,” she added.
Lomoljo said child abuse causes the children to be emotional, as it changes the way on how the child sees him/herself, how he decides for him/herself, and how he/she perceives other people.
With this, DSWD calls on the help of local government units to do their part in child protection.
Instances of violence on children can be reported to respective barangay officials or the Barangay Council for the Protection of Children, Bantay Bata Hotline 163, Philippine National Police “Aling Pulis” 0919-777-7377, or Commission on Human Rights hotline 0915-007-0097.