Protect children from sexual abuse, psychologist appeals

By Joseph B. Zambrano

BAGUIO CITY, Feb. 9 (PIA) — With the COVID pandemic and children are confined in the houses, there is a great challengeof  protecting the young from sexual abuse, a psychologist from Saint Louis University Sunflower Child and Youth Wellness Center said.

Angelica Nicole Mendoza,  in her guesting at  the  “PIA Baguio sa Malasakit sa Baguio”  radio program, elaborated on the definition of   sexual abuse  as any act on a child by an adult or older person for the sexual gratification of the  adult  like touching, kissing, fondling, or  watching pornography.

“Children should be empowered to take part of their own protection. They should know the private body parts that should not be touched by anyone, and to report to their parents or authorities when somebody is taking advantage of them physical or verbally,”  she said.

Records from the  City  Social Welfare and Development Office  shows that from January  to December 2020, there were 76 child abuse cases  involving 23  males and  53  females  whose ages range from below one year old to 17 years old.

The cases are broken down to  20 each for  sexual molestation and  neglect; 12 for  physical abuse; seduction 8; incest rape-6; emotional abuse-4; non-incest rape-3,  and one each for verbal abuse, unjust vexation,  and abduction,

Mendoza  emphasized  that  “a minute of neglect is a lifetime of regret” so parents should never put their guards down and be watchful over their children at all times.

To promote awareness on the problem of child sexual abuse and exploitation which is a social reality in the country, the second week of February has been declared as “National Awareness Week for the Prevention of Child Sexual Abuse and Exploitation“thru Proclamation No. 731.

For this year, the theme of the observance is “We must protect boys just as we protect girls!” (JDP/JBZ- PIA CAR)