Not every home is safe for kids | Inquirer Opinion

Not every home is safe for kids

/ 04:01 AM August 12, 2020

How we live and engage through physical distancing and self-quarantining during this pandemic have inevitably created a new normal, with obvious disruptions occurring in our very own homes. This crisis is a difficult time for families, especially for children, the most vulnerable citizens. While quarantine has been deemed necessary to avoid spreading the virus and ensure safety for everyone, we need to remember that the home may not be a safe space to all. Alongside women, children are most susceptible to abuse and violence especially during this time of pandemic.

With lockdowns, children with abusive parents are at greater risk of domestic violence, psychological abuse, and sexual assault and have nowhere to go. Lockdowns have also created a perfect setting for sexual traffickers to exploit our children online. Child sex exploitation has risen to epidemic levels since the pandemic. Under economic stress, some parents have resorted to selling inappropriate images or videos of their kids, while some others neglect to protect and watch over their children as they spend more time online on different social media platforms, leaving them at risk of being preyed on by online sexual predators and pedophiles.

As citizens, we have to understand that while there are existing laws meant to protect and ensure the security of our children—among them the Anti-Violence Against Women and Their Children Act, Anti-Rape Law, Anti-Photo and Video Voyeurism Act, Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act, and the Safe Spaces Act—we need to act and do our critical part for the community by helping victims of abuse. Most of the time, immediate intervention from police and local government units is limited, and victims refuse to report such cases of abuse and violence as they feel powerless to do so or are trying to protect loved ones.


Children trapped in a home with violent, abusive parents or guardians need help from those around them. Check on a child who is in a home flagged as abusive, and do not hesitate to report to authorities. Now more than ever, we need our government and our community to urgently respond with a united effort to protect children from the risk of violence, exploitation, and abuse as part of our broader response to the pandemic. Because home should be a safe place for our children to grow and learn, not a place that causes trauma and anxiety.

Richelle Ann Buan
[email protected]

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TAGS: Child abuse, coronavirus pandemic, coronavirus philippines, COVID-19, domestic violence, Letters to the Editor, Richelle Ann Buan

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