The City Social Welfare and Development Office (CSWDO) raised concern over the significant increase in child abuse cases which warrants the appropriate interventions that will be put in place by concerned government agencies and the local government to effectively and efficiently address the same.
City Social Welfare and Development Officer Betty Fangasan stated that for the whole year of 2020, there are some 76 child abuse cases from the different barangays that were recorded.
However, she claimed in less than 6 months of the present year, there were already 71 child abuse cases that were documented by the local government which is now one of the issues being looked into by assigned social welfare officers.
Of the current number of child abuse cases that had been documented, 52 of the abused children were females while 19 were males.
Further, Fangasan added that 20 of the child abuse cases were molestation where 2 cases had already been filed in court while 18 were physical abuse cases.
The city social welfare officer disclosed that based on the conduct of the investigation on the physical abuses cases against the children, it was found out that the major reason for such abuse is the alleged failure of the children to attend to their modules among other related reasons.
According to her, the victims of the child abuse cases had been provided with the appropriate counselling from social welfare officers while the perpetrators of such abuses were also given similar interventions.
Fangasan revealed that most of the perpetrators of the child abuse cases are family members, relatives and neighbors that is why efforts are being done by the social workers to provide the needed interventions for the concerned parties.
She stipulated that most of the cases are either being discussed by both parties under the close supervision of assigned social welfare workers or some of which have already been settled by the involved parties.
She attributed the reported increase in the number of child abuse cases to the empowered residents who are aware of what his happening in their surroundings and are brave enough in bringing the matter to the attention of the concerned authorities for appropriate interventions to allow the victims to be able to recover from their traumatic experiences in the hands of their own family members and neighbors.
She emphasized that one of the interventions being provided by the social welfare office to the victims of abuses is the psychological or psychiatric counselling in close coordination with the City Health Services Office (CHSO) to prevent the victims of abuse from being affected by the said abuses.
The local government department head appealed to the public to be vigilant on the child abuse cases being committed in their neighborhood and for them to continue reporting such incidents to the concerned authorities so that appropriate actions will be taken to prevent the further escalation of similar cases that might have a negative impact to the behavior of children in the city in the future. By Dexter A. See