"A 40-year-old man raped his 16 year old mute daughter."
"A man reportedly kidnapped a 4-month-old baby and raped her."
A man raped his daughters; Ages: 5 years old; 10 years old; 13 years old and 15 years old. Two daughters were proclaimed pregnant."
Children are a blessing from God. They are considered as angels of the earth because of their innocence and playful nature. Yet these children are not safe from evil. The watchful eyes of evil lurks in every corner, ready to devour their prey.
Reports of child rapes are all over the news, from local news to radio stations. Approximately 2,000 cases of child rapes in the Philippines were reported in the year 2018-2019 as cited by the Philippine Statistics Authorities and the Department of Social Welfare and Development. The Philippine government is taking action against this ongoing crime by implementing and establishing new laws protecting children and women, and yet child rape cases continued to increase throughout the year. The victims of rapes are mostly children below 18.
Children are targeted by "demons" because they are vulnerable, easy to be manipulated and threatened. In some parts of the Philippines, 1 in 5 children below 18 experiences sexual abuse while growing up. The perpetrators are always male relatives. The common perpetrators of sexual abuse are brothers, cousins, fathers, stepfathers or even neighbors.
In TV news or radio stations, the male relatives accused of rape will always deny the allegations. You will always hear the same reasons from them. The most common are;
" I was drunk, I didn't know what I was doing";
" I can't possibly do that to my child";
" I was possessed by a demon"
The victims of rapes are afraid to speak up. They are afraid that society will neglect them. They will not believe them, most especially their family. Sometimes they are threatened even frightened that the suspect will kill her and her family.
WHAT CAUSES THIS TO HAPPEN?
There are many factors to consider the cause of rapes.
This following are the causes of rape:
1. Individual Factors
2. Peer and Family factors
3. Social factors
The most common cause of rape is poverty and physical and social environment which is under social factors.
The fear of rape is associated outside the house, but majorities happened inside their home. The perpetrators would be close to the victim. The rapist would gain the trust of the victim until he gets his desires. Poverty is also linked to sexual violence to both children and women. Several authors explained the relationship between poverty and sexual violence. They explained that the suspect who rapes is trapped in the slams and is unemployed. The social environment of the community is highly linked to sexual harassment. Children would be kidnapped or be taken by strangers who would threaten them. Some rapes happen between the peer and even with their dates. The event happens in public without the watchful eyes of the police either it is in a dark alley or in a party.
WHAT WILL BE THE EFFECT OF RAPE TO CHILDREN?
The victims of rape will experience stress and trauma. Sometimes depression will overrule a child which may lead to suicide. These children are broken mentally and emotionally. They will think of themselves as worthless in our society, with no hope of surviving this hell-like-life they are in.
HOW CAN WE HELP THOSE CHILDREN WHO ARE VICTIMS OF RAPES?
We can help them with simple encouragement, support to open up to their problems, and teach them the concept of abuse and violence for them to be aware. The Government of the Philippines established laws protecting children from the said crime:
Republic Act No. 7610: Special Protection of Children Against Abuse, Exploitation and Discrimination Act.
Republic Act NO. 9262: Anti- Violence Against Women and Children Act of 2004
Republic Act No. 7877: Anti- Sexual Harassment Act of 1995
The person committed rape will be put in prison for life. But according to the Philippine Commission on Women Chairperson Rhodora Masilang-Busoy, it is not enough to put someone in jail who cause damage to a child, and killing the rapist is not enough punishment for the convicted rapist. The best punishment would be Reclusion Perpetua.
There are victims of rape that strive to survive. The experience will have a great impact on their future; either good or bad. Some children who experienced rape became aloof and will have difficulty trusting people around them. But others who were a victim of rape stood up from the experience. They became brave and stood up for what is right. For instance, Oprah, the richest person in the world was once a victim of rape but it never stopped her from reaching her dreams. She never gave up without a fight. Life was hard for her but she was determined not to be persuaded by the past.
We should not isolate these children who were a victim of rapes, rather, let us help them to strive and bring hope again in their life. Let us protect and support them in every way possible to let them feel love. We should not laugh or bully them for they are humans with emotions. They are fragile and can break immediately if we don't take action against child rape.
I am Aire Shane A. Tabarnero. A teacher with a passion to change the world. I am interested in writing, reading literary works and art.