AN ALARMING 41 rape and 11 incest cases were recorded Benguet from January to August this year.
The Provincial Social Welfare and Development Office (PSWDO) reported the increase of rape cases compared to the 29 rape cases recorded last year.
According to the PSWDO, most perpetrators turn out to be fathers which include six cases, grandfathers with four cases, and uncles with three cases.
Forms of abuse according to age include 12 rape cases involving five to seven-year-old victims, 12 cases comprised of 16 to 17-year-old and eight cases of 13 to 15-year-old.
Cases of child abuse were mostly committed in the victim’s house with 42 percent, eight percent in the neighbor’s home, and eight percent in public places.
Alarming cases of rape stressed by PSWDO officer Juana Bannawe said alarming cases include the rape of a four–year–old by a 20–year–old, a three–year–old raped by a 36 and 44-year-old stranger, while three siblings, ages 12, 14, and 17 were raped by their own 50–year–old step-father, a 16–year–old raped by her 71–years–old father, a four–year–old raped by her father, and a six-year-old child raped by her grandfather.
Buguias and Tuba had the most number of rape cases with eight, six cases each in La Trinidad and Mankayan, three in Bokod, two in Kibungan, Tublay and Itogon, and one each in Atok, Kabayan, Kapangan, and Sablan.
Bakun is the only town in the province without rape cases reported.
In a bid to curb rape in the province, barangay officials, health officers, and guidance counselors recently underwent training workshop in handling, management and referral system for child abuse cases.
The two-day training discussed case management of child abuse, referral and reporting of child abuse cases; reporting at the barangay and law enforcement; protective custody and involuntary commitment, and role of the social worker in the preliminary investigation.
Bannawe said with the training, stakeholders learn more on the mechanics of handling child abuse cases in the province.
Published in the SunStar Baguio newspaper on September 29, 2017.
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