More Child Abusers to be Jailed for Life

by Fr. Shay Cullen

Making An Arrest | Photo by Kenneth Konica via Commons/Flickr CC 2.0

The Philippine Senate has finally approved the final draft of the Philippine Senate Bill (SB) 2332. It is also known as An Act Increasing the Age for Determining Statutory Rape and other Acts of Sexual Abuse and Exploitation to Protect Children”.

If this becomes law, it is historic and vital to the protection of children and the prosecution of child rapists abusing children every day with impunity. It would repeal the penal code that said it was legal to have sex with a 12-year-old and older. Now it would be a criminal act of statutory rape to have sex with a 16-year-old child or younger. A convicted offender faces a possible sentence of life in prison on the credible testimony of the child victim. This would be a powerful deterrent and provides more excellent protection for vulnerable children. Child rights advocates have been campaigning for this change for decades, Preda Foundation among them, and finally, a day of victory for children.

There are many child protection laws in the Philippines and worldwide. US laws cover crimes against children committed by US citizens in the Philippines or any country abroad. The EU countries need to have a similar law.

We need to ask ourselves, why are such laws necessary? While the vast majority of humans love and respect children, millions don’t. As said before, it seems humans, the species with intelligence, are the only species that sexually abuse their own children. There is a profound moral flaw and inclination to evil in human nature and awareness among adults and children. It is the first vital line of protection. We all have to watch out for them and know that pedophiles and abusers abuse their children because they can. It is so easy for a family member to intimidate and harm a child and then get a child to say she “consented’ with the words, “yes po.”

” … one in every five children in the Philippines in the age group of 13 to 17 said they experienced sexual violence while one in 25 suffered from forced consummated sex during childhood.”

The child would be unable, without help, to testify in court against her family about the incest rape. Family intimidation would traumatize the child. Hence, they report few cases, and fewer come to court. That is why child sexual abuse has almost become the norm, but most people have a mental block admitting that fact.

We must remember that in a 2015 National Baseline Study on Violence Against Children, one in every five children in the Philippines in the age group of 13 to 17 said they experienced sexual violence while one in 25 suffered from forced consummated sex during childhood.

Child abuse is common everywhere throughout the world. Surveys show that one in three children worldwide are victims of sexual abuse, and one in six boys are abused and raped. It can and does distort everyday life, lead to many psychological traumas, and even pours out in anger and violence. The majority of victims bury that anger and pain inside all their lives.

Parents and guardians must never leave their child alone with an outsider, no matter how kind, helpful, generous, and caring he is or appears to be. At all times, they must follow that rule. Wise men will never be alone with a child, not their own.

When you see the emotional pain and hurt endured by child victims, you will understand how much they suffer, most without relief. You may see the Preda Emotional Release Therapy by visiting this link.

Paula was a 14-year-old girl, vulnerable, helpless, and in the control of her family. When her father and brother and a drinking partner of her father began to abuse her sexually, she was overwhelmed by them and could not escape or run away. She could not fight back, and they persuaded her to expect that they loved her. It’s okay, let us do it,” they said. They presumed that she was giving consent to the abuse by her silence, so much so that they also sexually abused her sister, Maria. They had a homegrown brothel- for free. They presumed the sisters gave consent by their silence, but it was from fear of punishment, and they had no way to complain. They never did give permission. They hated every act. Years later, when Paula was allowed to become a domestic helper, she told her employer about what she had endured.

“Inexplicably, we ask why in 90 years of a male-dominated congress, the congressmen never considered changing the penal law that made children as young as 12 vulnerable, in constant danger of abuse, and gave impunity to the pedophiles?”

That good woman contacted Preda Foundation, and they started an investigation. Paula and Maria were rescued and joined the Preda family. They are now free from their abusers and having therapy and education. Preda empowered them enough to file charges, with the help of the Preda paralegal officer, against their abusive family members. Now, the abusers will pay the consequences if justice were done, which they expect to happen. The change in the age of consent law will put many more abusers behind bars where they cannot abuse children.

Inexplicably, we ask why in 90 years of a male-dominated congress, the congressmen never considered changing the penal law that made children as young as 12 vulnerable, in constant danger of abuse, and gave impunity to the pedophiles?

We have to conclude that some of them agreed with most pedophiles in the world that it is just okay to have sex with 12-year-old children. Only since more strong women have come into power in congress, they changed this bad abusive law. The Preda team participated in the focused-group discussion organized by UP’s Gender Law and Policy Program (GLPP) that advised the senators. We are happy they passed the bill. May it have a swift passage in the bicameral.

You may also like

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

X