Days prior to the observance of National Awareness Week for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation on February 8-13, hundreds of women and children along with different child rights groups and advocates gathered and danced in unison to express outrage over the growing number of Filipino children who fall victims to sexual abuse and exploitation.
‘No words can fully describe our anger over the escalating number of cases of violence against women and children as well as the government’s failure to combat prostitution, cyber pornography and other commercial sexual activities,’ said SALINLAHI Alliance for Children’s Concerns Secretary General Kharlo Manano during an activity dubbed as “Rise, Raise, Rage: Rhythm and Dance Against Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation” earlier today at the Quezon City Hall Grounds. The event is part of the One Billion Rising (OBR) campaign – a global call to end all forms of violence against women and children.
Citing the data released by Center for Women’s Resources (CWR), Manano said that ‘a woman experiences domestic violence every 16 minutes while rape occurs every 53 minutes,’ adding that 75% of rape victims are children.
At the same time, Manano scored state authorities who have become sex offenders themselves, noting that there are already 7 girl victims of rape and sexual assault by elements of the Armed Forces of the Philippines (AFP) from July 2010 to December 2015.
‘Since 2000, there were around 100,000 prostituted Filipino children. This figure hasn’t changed much under the Aquino administration. The number of children caught in cyber pornography even increased by 56% from 2014 to 2015 alone, based on the data of the Philippine National Police- Anti Cybercrime Group (PNP-ACG),’ Manano emphasized.
On the other hand, Manano stressed that the Aquino government’s failure to create measures to prevent child abuse and sexual exploitation, coupled by the reign of the culture of impunity embolden abusers and sex predators to perpetrate more crimes against children.
‘Noynoy Aquino’s legacy is the failure to address deep-rooted poverty which results to a growing number of children falling prey to sexual abuse and exploitation,’ Manano lamented.
Salinlahi called on children and children’s rights advocates to rise against abuse. The group is set to join hundreds of advocates to the One Billion Rising main event on the 14th of February, 2016 at Luneta Park, Manila City.###
Reference: Kharlo Manano, SALINLAHI Secretary General