Poverty and child abuse | Inquirer Opinion

Poverty and child abuse

05:01 AM January 24, 2018

Reading the opening sentence of the commentary, “How to end violence in childhood,” by AK Shiva Kumar and Vivien Stern (Opinion, 1/18/18) tugged a vein in my heart’s memory. “There is something wrong with the state of Asia’s children,” it said.

It noted that in East Asia, 70 percent of children endure corporal punishment at home. This could not be more true in our place at one time.

Two of our salesgirls arrived at the store looking pale, sweating and very affected. Teary-eyed, both had just witnessed the brutal whipping of their cousin, a 2-year-old boy, by his own father using a broomstick (walis tingting) with some sticks embedded in the legs and were bleeding. They chanced upon the incident when they dropped by to greet their grandmother.


The boy messed up one grilled eggplant intended for breakfast and there was no other dish. The father got mad and so the boy was punished.


Instinctively, I rang the local Department of Social Welfare and Development office and ABS-CBN’s Bantay Bata; they coordinated and action was taken.

A few DSWD personnel came running and in combative mood, asked for the location. With the wangwang of the police car, they winded up on a hilltop. The father and the boy, accompanied by the mother, were picked up. The father to the police station and the boy to the clinic.

The girls were very afraid and cautioned that the father would surely get back at us as he was known to be a brute in the neighborhood. The wife bore a leg scar when he hit her with a bolo in one angry episode.

I assured them that we were not against the father but only helping their defenseless cousin. They just had to keep quiet.

But as the commentary said: “The key to successfully end childhood violence is in the recognition that violence is not a private affair.”

The police sternly warned the father that a repeat would throw him in jail. Later, the agency knew of their abject poverty and recommended him for temporary work at Kao Phils.


The connection between poverty and family brutality is well established.

Anger, according to the Dalai Lama, comes usually from frustration and dissatisfaction. Having nothing to eat and wanting to provide more can cause anger and not understanding why, worsens it.

The government has a duty to protect the rights of the citizens which includes a child’s right to live free from fear, the commentary said.

It is a blessing that the DSWD has been one of the most effective agencies in the country.

Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Your subscription has been successful.

Subscribe to our daily newsletter

By providing an email address. I agree to the Terms of Use and acknowledge that I have read the Privacy Policy.

FLOR S. TEMPLE, [email protected]

TAGS: AK Shiva Kumar, Child abuse, Inquirer letters, Vivien Stern

© Copyright 1997-2024 INQUIRER.net | All Rights Reserved

We use cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website. By continuing, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. To find out more, please click this link.