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340 cases of child abuse recorded in Davao city

DAVAO City — The Quick Response Team for Children Center of the City Social Services and Development Office (QRTCC-CSSDO) recorded 340 cases of abuses from October last year until September this year.

Juenalyn Pablo, social work associate and head of QRTCC-CSSDO, said they also tallied two cases of deaths due to child abuse since the city launched the Kean Gabriel Hotline in October last year.

Out of the reported cases, Pablo said six cases were filed in court against parents and guardians who have abused children. One of which is the latest case where a couple who was charged for neglecting their five children.

Pablo said most of the child abuses happen to poor families, parents having marital conflict, and broken families. She also mentioned that physical abuse has the highest number of reported cases compared to another form of abuses such as sexual abuse, neglect, and others.

The city government’s anti-child abuse hotline team called on the public to immediately report cases of child abuse to authorities to avoid deaths of children.

“The concerned citizen has the choice to report, and may either reveal his or her name or not,” Pablo said in a press conference held at the City Engineer’s Office, assuring that the names of the callers will remain confidential to ensure safety.

Apart from the hotline, Pablo said the team is also conducting thorough monitoring on the cases and is tying up with barangay officials to strengthen the campaign against child abuses.

“We hope that no child dies because of abuse,” she added.

24/7 hotline

The 24/7 hotline was launched on Oct. 27, 2016. It was named after Kean Gabriel Agustin, a three-year-old boy who died after he was allegedly maltreated by his stepfather on Aug. 24 last year.

Kean’s stepfather stuffed him in a sack and placed him on top of a shelf inside their room. The kid fell several times before he passed out. Based on the City Health Office’s report, Kean’s death was due to severe bleeding and head injuries.

A month after the launch, a two-year-old toddler, John Earl Cagalitan died after his guardians beat him up for urinating on his bed. Pablo said that John Earl’s case was reported when he was in the hospital and was already declared dead.

In May this year, six-year-old Lea Bea Lopez Lucero was found lifeless on a vacant lot. Investigators, later on, found that the girl was raped and murdered by her uncle. (davaotoday.com)

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