Sexual abuse among children amid the pandemic on the rise

The Police Regional Office 11 (PRO 11) reported 15 sexual abuse cases from the Davao City Police Office (DCPO) in Davao City and Davao de Oro Police Provincial Office (DOPPO).

The report made Davao City and Davao de Oro as having the highest number of rape cases in Davao Region amid the coronavirus pandemic.   
Police Major Jacqueline Antero, section chief of the Regional Women and Children Protection Desk of PRO 11, said sexual abuse topped the most incidents committed by the perpetrators in Davao Region wherein the highest numbers were recorded in Davao City and Davao de Oro for the period of March 16, 2020 to June 26, 2020.  

Antero said the lowest recorded cases of sexual abuse among children is in Davao Occidental.   

Based on the Regional Women and Children Protection Desk gender-based violence cases during COVID-19 for the same period, the reported incidents under VAC are rape, acts of lasciviousness, RA 10364 (anti-trafficking in person), grave threats, less serious physical injury, murder, other acts of RA 7610, simple seduction, and unjust vexation.  

Antero said region-wide there are a total of 133 cases: 64 reported cases of rape, 10 cases of acts of lasciviousness, two for RA 10364, one for grave threats, six for less serious injury, three for murder, 35 for other acts of RA 7610 35, one simple seduction, two unjust vexation.  

For the acts of violations of RA7610 Davao de Oro recorded the lowest with four incidents while the highest is Davao City with 14 incidents and Davao del Sur with 13 incidents. For the acts of lasciviousness, the lowest is Davao Occidental with zero incident and the highest is Davao City with four incidents reported.  

“Davao City has the highest reported cases because it is an urban area and has higher population,” Antero said.  

On the other hand, Police Major Elisa Ramirez, women and children protection desk officer of the Davao City Police Office (DCPO), reported that majority of sexual abuse in Davao City happened inside the victims’ homes. 

“Isa pud sa mga gina-tutukan nga bisan naa lang sa balay, naa lang gihapon panghitabo nga sexual na pang abuso,” Ramirez said. 

Ramirez said based on the data covering from March 15 to June 30, 2020, DCPO has recorded 25 cases of sexual abuse involving children while last year in the same period DCPO has recorded 33 cases of sexual abuse. 

“Comparing with previous years in the same period mas marami pa ring nangyayari na sexual abuse the previous years, but still it is alarming since we are in the period of staying at home may mga abuses pa rin na nangyayari,” she said.  

Ramirez said what is important is the victims were able to report and DCPO was able to act on it. She said DCPO has able to file, cleared and solved the cases except one case, which is still under investigation.

“Because the victim is not yet ready,” she said.